Nick Amateau didn’t like how he was playing golf heading into this year’s Class 2A-1A District 1 tournament, so the South Carroll junior turned to a former teammate to help him gain a little confidence.
Amateau said he and recent SC graduate Ryan Stankewicz, the two-time reigning Times Player of the Year, made the trip to Black Rock Golf Course on Monday so Amateau could get 18 holes in before Tuesday’s district tourney. A practice-round 79 helped him feel somewhat better, Amateau said, and he got an early chance to envision specific shots around the course.
Eight strokes better the next day, Amateau wasn’t complaining — even after coming up short in a playoff to determine medalist honors. Amateau carded a 1-over par 71 along with Oakdale’s Dell Greiser, who bested the Cavalier on one extra hole (the par-4 8th).
Amateau started his round on No. 18, and collected birdies on holes 1, 4, and 10. Missing a few short birdie putts deflated him somewhat, but Amateau said he tried to stay focused after he and Greiser finished their rounds and waited for the rest of the field to come in.
Both players missed the fairway on 18 in their playoff, but Grieser made par with Amateau facing a bogey putt at best.
“My miss when I’m tired is a big push, and that’s what happened,” Amateau said of his drive that landed right of the fairway and uphill. “He didn’t hit a great tee shot either, but I saw him get through [the trees]."
Amateau had timber on his side of the fairway as well, but his view to the green was more cluttered and his next two shots struck trees before he could find a clearing.
“I would have had to hit it perfect if I wanted to get through, but why not try?” Amateau said. "I didn’t want to stay for very much longer."
Amateau and his county counterparts fared well at Black Rock, and while Carroll didn’t get a team qualified for the 2A-1A state tourney later this month there are a handful of players headed to compete at the University of Maryland course.
Winters Mill had seniors Ethan Wolbert (75) and Brian Inglis (78) advance to states. The Falcons took third in the team standings with a score of 327, three strokes off the qualifying cut. Oakdal won at 296, and runner-up Linganore (314) also advanced.
Century senior Liam Wolf shot 74 to advance, and he tied for fourth place. Wolf earned a third straight state tournament berth. WM’s Wolbert did the same and placed seventh, and Inglis earned his second state berth by tying for eighth place.
Knights senior Suzanna Martin fired an 83, good for third place on the girls side and a state tournament appearance.
Liberty senior Justin Bartolowits also carded a 74 (33 on his back nine) for a share of fourth, and made it to states for the first time.
The county claimed another first-timer in Manchester Valley junior Logan Austin, who shot 80 (10th-place tie) and made states on the cut number.
Westminster qualified as Carroll’s lone team last week at the 4A-3A District 1 tourney, but the county put together a strong state tournament contingent.
Amateau is headed back for a second time thanks to some preparation and a solid effort (he played his front nine Tuesday in 35). Practicing with Stankewicz was important, he said, with a few weeks to get ready for the season finale in College Park.
“He said he’d come back down for states too,” Amateau said, “so we’ll see what happens there.”
TOP 10 TEAM SCORES
1. Oakdale 296, 2. Linganore 314, 3. Winters Mill 327, 4. Boonsboro 335, 5. Middletown 340, 6. South Carroll 344, 7. Liberty 351, 8. Man Valley 354, 9. Century 358, 10. Walkersville 382.