Tripp Shreves, playing in the third to last group, bolted past the leaders with birdies at the 16th and 18th holes and earned the championship of the 26th annual Maryland Amateur Stroke FTC Play tournament with a 54-hole total of 218 at Mount Pleasant Golf Course yesterday.
At the 16th, he rolled in a 30-foot putt from the fringe and at the 18th he almost holed a sand wedge shot, the ball hitting and spinning back to 18 inches below the cup. In between, his tee shot at the par-3 17th stayed up in the collar of rough on the crest of a slope, and he was able to chip and putt for his par.
The final putt completed a par round of 37-3471 on the 6,757-yard course, and, as it developed, a one-stroke triumph.
"I was five [shots] back at the start [after starting 73-74] and I thought I had to shoot 68," said Shreves, 22, a recent University of Virginia graduate, who will return to Charlottesville in the fall to attend graduate school and complete his final year of athletic eligibility.
He promptly birdied the first hole, and went on to what he called, "a grinding round." It included a double-bogey six at the fifth hole and thoughts of being in trouble. From there, he parred around to No. 14 and a three-putt bogey.
"I hit the ball well all weekend, but the putt at 16 was the only real one I made," said Shreves, surprised by his victory after not having one the last three or four years.
Before the stretch run by Shreves, whose back-nine score was the hot, humid day's only sub-par number on the 36-35 card, Hobbit's Glen members Adrian Druzgala and Stevon Sutton were making possible playoff noises.
When Sutton, playing right behind Druzgala in the final group, rolled in a five-foot birdie putt at No. 16, the two were tied at 6-overpar for the championship. Each parred the remaining holes, Sutton, 20, and a member of the University of Maryland golf team, coming close with a 25-foot chip shot that fell off about a foot below the hole.
A mental mistake on a shot in the trees on No. 13 led to a Druzgala double-bogey, but overall he hit 15 greens and played well.
L Druzgala wound up with 73-73-73219, and Sutton, 73-71-75219.
Earlier, Jamie Young, from Hagerstown and a first-time entry in the event, had been the leader after a birdie at No. 10 got him 1-under par for the round, but he bogeyed the next six holes -- five of them three-putt greens, and he admitted the heat had bothered him.
Jay Stosz, another Hobbit's Glen member, played well for two days (74-68--142) to lead Sutton by two strokes and Young by three. Druzgala, making his best run in the event, was among five at 146.
Stosz kept it together until the middle of the round, where five bogeys in six holes sent him toward a 78 and a tie for fourth at 220.
Larry Storck, a finalist in the recent Maryland State Amateur, slipped back with bogeys at the 14th and 15th and finished 73-74-73--220.
NOTES: Sheldon Kalish started with a rainy 80, then had the low score for the closing 36 holes, 71-71, and tied for seventh at 222. . . . There were 92 starters in the final round after a cut at 158, and none played better than Hunt Valley's Mark Farrell, who hit 17 greens and shot a final-round 71--228.
Final results: Tripp Shreves 73-74-71218; Adrian Druzgala 73-73-73219; Stevon Sutton 73-71-75219; Larry Storck 73-74-73220; Jay Stosz 74-68-78220; Jamie Young 73-72-76221; Sheldon Kalish 80-71-71222; Doug Dollenberg, Jr., 74-75-73222; Trevor Randolph 75-73-74222; Britt Sloan 74-73-75222; Dennis Lankford 75-71-76222; Bob Przybylski 73-77-73223; Chuck Freedman 73-73-77223; Bob Lentz, Jr., 75-76-73224; Buddy Peoples 75-74-75224; Tim Moylan 75-73-76224; Drew DeVan 74-72-78224.
Justin Klein 76-73-76225; Charles Narciso 74-76-75225; Gary Moore 78-75-72225; Pat Moylan 76-74-75225; Jim Castagna 75-72-78225; Dan Falls 77-76-73226; Joe Records 71-79-76226; Bob Kaestner 74-72-80226; Greg Henry 77-75-75227; Serge Hogg 77-76-74227; Phil Novak 76-77-74227; Randy Scott 79-71-77227.