Paula Steckler said her son, Jonathan, first picked up a golf club shortly after he started to walk.
Yesterday at Bonnie View Country Club, the Dulaney High sophomore-to-be played as though he never put the club down.
Steckler shot a final-round 73 for a three-day total of 223 to win the gold medal in the 15-16-year-old division of the 1992 Jewish Community Centers North American Maccabi Youth Games.
"He's so calm and collected for a 15-year-old that he really doesn't need any coaching," said Baltimore delegation coach Jay Schreider.
"I was trying to par every hole and last night I was trying to visualize it in my sleep," said Steckler, who shot a par 72 last week on the course during a practice round. "This is an experience I'll remember for the rest of my life."
Steckler came into the final round with 150, leading Scott Golditch of Los Angeles by one stroke. Golditch shot an 82 in the final round for a 233 total to take the bronze. Josh Levin of San Francisco won silver with a three-day total of 230.
Steckler birdied the seventh and 13th holes yesterday, and in Tuesday's second round he birdied five holes at Suburban Country Club, where he finished with a 74.
"He's had the same swing since he was 7," Mrs. Steckler said. "He's real good around the green chipping and putting."
Steckler won his first tournament at 7 in his age division at Towson Golf and Country Club. Since then he has had continued success, finishing no lower than fourth in his division of the club's junior championship every year.
Steckler made the Dulaney golf team as a freshman last year, playing in the No. 4 position and finishing second in the district meet. This year, Steckler is hoping to move up in the lineup and eventually win the state championship.
Steckler won the Towson Golf and CC junior championship on Aug. 20, and two weeks ago he was a winner at the Eastern Shore Junior Golf Championships. But he said the the Maccabi Games victory is the high point of his summer.
"I was really excited for this," Steckler said. "It's nice to have this as my last win of the summer."
In the girls division, Stacey Pusin and Jennifer Just finished second and third, respectively, for the Baltimore delegation.
LOCAL RESULTS Boys
Bronx-Riverdale 90, Baltimore #1 51
Bergen County (N.J.) 2, Owings Mills 0
200m butterfly -- 2, Chris Kaplan, 2:04.94
200m butterfly -- 2, David Denrich, 2:12.31. 200 breaststroke -- 1, Brett Rubin, 2:21.71
1, Los Angeles 156-167-177--500. 2, Detroit 169-168-164--501. 3, Baltimore 168-169-165--502.
1, Jonathan Steckler 76-74-73--223. 16, Andrew Gombert 32, Evan Levitt 109-116-111--336.
Rockville 83, Baltimore 32
Rockville 4, Owings Mills 0
Toronto 16, Baltimore #1 12
2, Stacey Pusin 92-95-92--279. 3, Jennifer Just 97-98-94--289
TODAY'S EVENTS Boys basketball Semifinals at UMBC, 10:30 a.m. and noon
Girls basketball Semifinals at Catonsville CC, 10:30 a.m.
Finals/Consolation at Catonsville CC, 2 p.m.
Boys soccer Semifinals at UMBC, 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.
Girls soccer Baltimore vs. Philadelphia at UMBC, 8:30 a.m. (Bronze-medal game)
Gold-medal game at UMBC, 10:30 a.m.
Boys softball Baltimore vs. Montreal at UMBC, 8:30 a.m. (Bronze-medal game)
Girls softball Baltimore vs. Chicago at Catonsville CC, 8:30 a.m. Bronze-medal game)