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40-foot putt makes sophomore McKinney a champion


Brendan McKinney rolled in a 40-foot putt on the 18th gree to clinch the individual title in the annual Baltimore County golf championships at Piney Branch Golf Club yesterday.

McKinney, a Dulaney sophomore, finished with a 77 and a 36-hole total of 153.

He held off teammate Eddie Lipski, a senior who had the day's low round, a 76, and ended with 155.

The 20-player field had qualified during the team championship Monday at Rocky Point Golf Course, with their scores carried over for the two-round event.

McKinney, who led Monday's play with his 76, and Lipski had pretty much separated themselves from the rest of the group yesterday after nine holes on a cool, misty afternoon.

McKinney, 15, and in this event for the first time, had 38 for his out-going nine while Lipski had a 36. The result was a tie going to the back nine.

Tied through No. 13, McKinney forged a one-stroke lead when he parred the par-5 14th and stretched it two with another par at the par-4 17th.

The leader, who admitted he liked the pressure, cemented hisposition with his long putt on 18.

Lipski was 15 feet above the hole and knew his chances of winning were gone. His ensuing bid for the birdie carried past the cup.

Paul Mayni made it a 1-2-3 sweep for Dulaney when he finished at 158.

The Lions were a runaway winner in the team event.

"I checked when we made the turn, and it looked as though it was between the two of us," McKinney said of his back-nine duel with Lipski.

"We were in the same group, and I treated it like match play."

The champion, 5 feet 7 inches, 125 pounds, who plays his golf at Pine Ridge GC, cited chipping and putting as the best parts of his game.

"My course management is better than it used to be, too," he said. "In the past, when I got into trouble, I'd wind up with double bogeys or worse. Now, I'm more conservative and play for bogey in those situations."

Lipski, 18, shrugged off a McKinney comment about match play when they were on the 10th tee.

"I just tried to play the golf course," he said. "It was so hard those last three holes, because you can't help but get caught up in the situation."

Aside from McKinney and Lipski, Jason Frederick, a Franklin senior, was the only other to break 80 on the second day, with a 79.

Rounding out the top 10 medal-winners were Jon Steckler, Dulaney (79-82--161); Mike Priddy, Randallstown (84-82--166); Kristin Dollenberg, the only girl among the 20 qualifiers (78-89--167); Reid Wiseman, Dulaney (84-84--168); Jason Brewster, Lansdowne (84-87--171); and Chris Keefer, Perry Hall (86-85--171).

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