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Wilcox, Honadel, Geyer swing to top 10 finishes at Maryland state golf tournament

Aberdeen's Erica Honadel watches her drive off the 3rd hole tee during the final round of the MPSSAA Golf Championships at University of Maryland Golf Course on Wednesday.
Aberdeen's Erica Honadel watches her drive off the 3rd hole tee during the final round of the MPSSAA Golf Championships at University of Maryland Golf Course on Wednesday. (Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media)

Harford County’s representation at the 2021 Maryland State Golf Tournament fared well Wednesday with three top 10 individual finishes and a top three team finish as well.

Golfers contested the normally tough University of Maryland Golf Course the past two days and play was made even tougher due to strong, gusty winds.

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Despite the conditions, North Harford senior Zach Wilcox placed fifth in the 1A/2A tournament and Aberdeen junior Erica Honadel, tied for sixth in the 3A/4A tourney. C. Milton Wright freshman Jack Geyer tied for sixth in 1A/2A.

Wilcox (154 total) shot a final round 76 to better the 78 he shot Tuesday. “It was calm in the mornings and as the day went on [the wind] picked up more and more both days,” Wilcox said.

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Wilcox countered the best he could. “My mid-irons and short game were the best part. I made the up and downs,” he said. “If I missed the green, I was confident that I would chip it close and make the putt, basically. I made sure I chipped it close enough that I felt really comfortable to knock it in.”

Wilcox was a state tournament qualifier as a sophomore, but he shot 88 in the opening round and did not make the cut to play in the finals.

North Harford's Zach Wilcox hits an approach shot to the 3rd green during the final round of the MPSSAA Golf Championships at University of Maryland Golf Course on Wednesday.
North Harford's Zach Wilcox hits an approach shot to the 3rd green during the final round of the MPSSAA Golf Championships at University of Maryland Golf Course on Wednesday. (Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media)

With his junior season taken away by covid, Wilcox had one final chance this fall to make amends at states. “I focused my entire work ethic around getting back to states and to day two,” Wilcox said.

Honadel shot 82 on Wednesday, eight strokes worse than the 74 she shot in Monday’s opening round.

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“Considering how I played on the first day, I was hoping to do a little bit better, but at the beginning of the season it was a goal to finish top 10,” Honadel said. “So, even with sixth place, I’m pretty happy with it and also compared to freshman year, I did 15 strokes better, which makes me hopeful that I’ll also improve by next year.”

Honadel was definitely affected by the wind and change to the course. “It was pretty windy today and I don’t think I did that well of a job adjusting for it,” she said. “And also the course, they moved some of the tees back. It was already long in the first place, but it just made it play even longer. I felt like I was always having to hit into the wind.”

CMW’s Geyer shot 77 Tuesday and 78 Wednesday for a 155 total. The 77 was the low score among all county players in the first round and play was also impacted by wind.

“Playing in tough conditions like today, you have to know that there are going to be tough holes ahead and there are going to be bogeys,” Geyer said after Tuesday’s round.

Geyer managed conditions both days well in leading his CMW team to a third-place finish in the 1A/2A team standings.

C. Milton Wright's Jack Geyer hits his tee shot on the 1st hole during the final round of the MPSSAA Golf Championships at University of Maryland Golf Course on Wednesday.
C. Milton Wright's Jack Geyer hits his tee shot on the 1st hole during the final round of the MPSSAA Golf Championships at University of Maryland Golf Course on Wednesday. (Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media)

Joey LoBianca 78-86 (164, 14th), Trevor Heid 83-83 (166, T-15th) and Tyler Mann 106-100 (206, 30th) made up the Mustangs team. The 344 (Tuesday) and 347 (Wednesday) produced a 691 total that was good enough for third place.

Brandon Palen of Patterson Mill placed 13th in 1A/2A. Palen shot 80 and 82 for 162.

Noah Wallace, the North East sophomore who posted a 73 at Mountain Branch Golf Course to win the District 7 title, shot 72 and 73 (145) to win the boys 1A/2A state title by seven strokes.

A handful of other Harford golfers played Tuesday in 1A/2A, but failed to reach the final round. The cutoff was 81 for boys and 85 for girls.

Ben Brzozowski of Havre de Grace shot 84, while Aurora Walters of Harford Tech shot 90 and Jupiter Moore of Fallston shot 102.

Baltimore Sun Media Sports Editor Brent Kennedy contributed to this article.

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