Carroll County golfers have held their own at the state tournament in recent years, and Monday’s championship round at University of Maryland was no different.
Seven players remained from those that competed last week in the semifinals, and when the round began a handful of them were in contention to finish on top. Carroll is still seeking its first individual state golf champion however, despite strong efforts from several players Monday.
Leading the way was Winters Mill’s Ethan Wolbert, who made the most of his final competitive high school round. The senior came into the finals at 4-over par and matched that score (75) to finish at 150, one stroke behind Class 2A-1A champion Gavin Ganter of La Plata.
Wolbert, who helped the Falcons win the Carroll County Athletic League title this fall, finished seventh at the District 1 tournament in early October and took fifth at the county tourney a few weeks later. Wolbert’s state semifinal round put him in a tie for fourth place, with a altered game plan Monday of using more conservative iron shots as he navigated the College Park course.
“I really wasn’t feeling good about my driver, I only hit it twice,” Wolbert said. “That was really the big change, 3-woods instead of drivers on some holes. Just didn’t test it.”
Wolbert carded birdies on holes No. 9 and 11, and had only one major blemish in his round — a triple bogey on the first hole.
“I figured I’m not really going to think about it,” Wolbert said. “It’s [my] last one. Just let it happen really, that’s all.”
Century senior Liam Wolf shot 79 on Monday to finish fifth on the 2A-1A side. Wolf fired a 74 in the semifinals and ended with 153.
South Carroll’s Nick Amateau tied for seventh after the junior went 76-80 for 156, giving the county three top 10 performances in 2A-1A. Century senior Suzanna Martin tied for fifth in the girls competition (180) and improved on her semifinal round of 92 by shooting 88.
Meanwhile, Westminster junior Aaron Sorkin came into the 4A-3A final round tied for the lead (1-under 70) one year after finishing runner-up at states in a playoff. Sorkin posted three birdies Monday, but dealt with a double-bogey that derailed some of his momentum. Sorkin shot 77 and finished at 147, tied for fifth place.
Sorkin lamented the double on hole No. 4, but said he enjoyed playing championship-level golf with some of the best players around.
“Hitting every ball within 10 feet on most of the holes, it’s really fun to watch,” the county champion said. “Really fun to play with.”
Cory Campbell, Sorkin’s Westminster teammate, closed out his high school career with a tie for 26th place (156). Sophomore Jennifer Sorkin came in a 163 after an 85 on Monday and tied for 13th in the girls category.
This year’s state tournament was supposed to have its semifinals Oct. 28-29, but had to reschedule because of bad weather. The finals were washed out as well and moved to Monday, where temperatures were chilly but conditions suitable for scoring.
Wolf said the course played better in the finals than it did last week, which may have helped with the field’s quality play.
Oakdale (659) won the 2A-1A team title in beating Frederick County rival Linganore in a playoff (four holes). Churchill took the 4A-3A crown (603), while Walter Johnson junior Jake Griffin fired a 141 (71-70) to win individual honors.
“I had three bad holes, a triple [bogey] and two doubles, so I can’t be upset with a 79,” said Wolf, who also carded three birdies. “It’s definitely tough, because you’re also paired with the leaders from your district. You’re tracking your score, you’re tracking their score to compare yourselves. It’s a lot mentally.
“My game is the best that it’s been where I’ve been in high school, so I am pretty happy with the results.”
2A-1A BOYS TOP TEN
1. Gavin Ganter (La Plata) 149, 2. Ethan Wolbert (Winters Mill) 150, 3. William Creery (Fallston) 151, 4. Caleb Taylor (Glenelg) 152, 5. Liam Wolf (Century) 153, 6. Ethan Crabb (Linganore) 155, 7. Nick Amateau (South Carroll) 156, 7. Chris Lee (Oakdale) 156, 9. Harrison Smith (Kent Island) 157, 10. Brooks Zarchin (Damascus) 159.