GAITHERSBURG, Maryland (Aug. 14, 2012) -- An eagle-birdie finish propelled Ray Sheedy to a playoff victory over Brett Williams in the 26th annual Mid-Amateur Championship of the Maryland State Golf Association at Blue Mash Golf Course in Laytonsville, August 14.
Some 15 minutes after Williams, from Baltimore CC, had put up the low round of the two-day event to cap a 70-66--136, Sheedy sank an 18th-green 12-foot putt he had to make to give him 69-67--136, and force overtime. Then, after Williams left his first putt just short of the cup at the first hole, Sheedy drained his putt from 15 feet.
The triumph was the first individual title for Sheedy, 26, since his senior year at Charlotte University. In between, he lost a North and South Amateur final; last month, he lost in the final of the Washington Metropolitan Amateur, and as recently as last weekend, he thought he had a chance to get into the hunt at the Washington County Open in Hagerstown, and shot 79.
This time, he closed the deal with two solid rounds. The Montgomery County course was played at 6,638 yards to a par of 36-35--71, and the winner declared, "I thought it was a good set-up. It was fair and there were plenty of chances to make birdies." His last round included an eagle at the 500-yard 12th and two front-nine birdies.
Williams seized the opportunity with five birdies in a bogey-free round, and for the two days, he hit 34 greens in regulation. Aside from these two, six others had a closing round in the 60's. First-time entries Tucker Sampson, from Caves Valley GC, and Dan Walker, the University of Maryland GC, tied for third with 69-68--137, and 68-69--137, respectively, trailed by David Nocar, Chartwell CC. 71-68--139.
The other three were by Jack MacDonald, Pine Ridge GC, a six-birdie 69 (145); Scott Ehrlich,University of Maryland GC, 69 (142), and Chris Baloga, Hillendale CC, 69 (142).
Jim Castagna from Manor CC, extended his personal streak of appearances to 26, as he has played in every one since the first in 1987 at Maryland Golf & CC. He won the second one, held at Bretton Woods Recreation Center. Two other past champions were in the 2012 field -- 1999 winner Ben Brundred, and 2010 winner Baloga.
The 2013 event is listed for August 12-13 at Baltimore Country Club.