COLLEGE PARK — Aaron Sorkin walked off the green on the 10th hole at University of Maryland’s golf course disappointed but encouraged.
Last week he fell short to South Carroll’s Ryan Stankewicz in two playoff holes to finish second in the Carroll County Athletic League tournament.
Five days later, in the Class 4A-3A state tournament, the Westminster sophomore found himself in a similar scenario.
Playoffs was were needed to decide both the 4A-3A and 2A-1A boys individual championships on Wednesday afternoon.
Matched with Northern’s Edward Coffren, Sorkin reached the second playoff hole before finishing as the runner-up.
Usually, disappointed and encouraged don’t coincide, but after being embraced by a crowd of supporting friends, family and teammates, there were positives for Sorkin to take away.
“I’ve been practicing a lot these past couple weeks,” Sorkin said. “I think my ball striking was really good today. I’ve never played the course before so that probably took a toll on not knowing where to play the shots, but I thought I did pretty good.”
Despite cold and windy conditions over the course of two days, Sorkin finished with a two-day score of 148 (73-75) and tied Coffren for the low total.
After sinking his final putt Wednesday on No. 9, capping a round of 4-over, Sorkin had a feeling for what was in store — more playoff golf.
Sorkin and Coffren went shot-for-shot, replaying the same hole they had just completed.
Sorkin’s drive landed in the lie of a tree, but strong second and third shots put him about 18 feet away from the pin.
Two-putts from both golfers forced a second playoff hole, the par-4 10th.
This time, however, Sorkin couldn’t capitalize. His drive veered into woods and a tough second shot skimmed the right tree line.
He was able to find the green within three shots, but Coffren did so in one less and his par putt completed the match.
Even among what many would consider added pressure, Sorkin said he didn’t see it that way.
He said he never really felt it, which spoke volumes to Westminster coach Robbie Vaughn.
“He doesn’t show a lot of emotion,” Vaughn said. “Bad shot, good shot, you wouldn’t really know it when you watch him. For him, he’s not worried about getting in trouble … he’s always looking to the next shot.”
“[Aaron] just plays consistent,” he added. “There’s no big numbers. He’ll throw in a birdie every once in a while, he might bogey every once in a while but he tires to par every hole.”
The Owls made the cut Monday in the semifinals (324) as one of six 4A-3A teams, and finished sixth at 657 after shooting 333 on Wednesday.
Cory Campbell (165), Nate Burnett (171), and Jennifer Sorkin (173) joined Aaron Sorkin in team scoring.
Jennifer Sorkin finished 17th among the 4A-3A girls field.
Urbana won the team title at 619, while Marriotts Ridge took the 2A-1A crown at 628.
SC’s Stankewicz entered Wednesday’s 2A-1A final round with a two-stroke lead after carding five birdies on the back nine en route to a 72, but the senior saw it slip away on his front nine.
Bogeys on holes 12, 15, 16, and 18, along with a double-bogey on 17 and a triple on 14, set him back far enough to where he couldn’t recover.
He shot 81 on Wednesday and finished at 153 — still good enough for a third-place finish in 2A-1A.
River Hill’s Kevin Hickey took the individual state championship after edging Fallston’s William Creery in a playoff (both shot 148).
“I was just nervous, that’s all it was,” Stankewicz said. “It was my last opportunity to win this tournament and I really wanted to. I just put too much pressure on myself.”
Stankewicz said he enjoyed the overall experience of having an overnight lead, and has seen himself evolve as a player over the past four years.
For the better.
“I’ve become more mature,” he said. “Watching me out there today I look like a completely different golfer than I did my freshman year, not from how I hit the ball but how I act when I hit a shot whether it’s good or bad.”
Winters Mill’s Brian Inglis and Emil Serafin tied for 11th for 2A-1A at 167. Century’s Liam Wolf was a scratch Wednesday and placed 25th.
Following his playoff loss, Sorkin said he now knows the lay of the land at Maryland, and his confidence is much improved from one year ago.
The performance is something he’ll look to carry over heading into his junior year, he said.
“Even after the round I still have momentum going into next spring and next summer’s tournaments,” Sorkin said. “I’m still going to practice every day. I still have that momentum carried from the round today.”