CHEVY CHASE, Md. (Aug. 4, 2013) -- Maclain Huge capped a strong stretch run with a chip-in birdie on the 34th hole and defeated Steve Delmar, 3 and 2, to capture the 94th Washington Metropolitan Amateur championship at Columbia Country Club, August 4.
At the 163-yard 16th, Huge, 2 up, sent his ball into the rough some 30 feet behind the flagstick. Delmar wasn't much better off as his shot had stopped in the grass in the edge of the greenside water hazard. Going first, his chip stopped about halfway to the hole. Huge looked at his situation, struck the shot and watched as his ball hit the green and rolled down and into the center of the hole.
They had gone to the last nine holes all square, but a Delmar three-putt sent Huge ahead at the 28th and after a tree problem (Delmar could only pitch out after putting his drive in trouble) led to a Huge 2-up margin, the two alternated wins for the next four holes. That brought them to the 16th tee.
No more than two holes separated the two until the final stroke on a warm, sunny day where a 15-20 mph wind provided an added factor in the afternoon. Huge, from Loudoun CC, got a conceded birdie at the 18th when Delmar, from the University of Maryland GC, could not get up-and-down from a downhill lie in the rough behind the green to go to the break 1-up.
In the afternoon, they took turns with the lead for six holes, then halved Nos. 7-8-9.
The two put on a remarkable display of shot making during a five hole morning stretch -- Nos. 12-16 -- when they halved three successive holes in birdies and had birdies on either end for an amazing total of eight in that span. Precise approach shots ended within a five-foot radius of the hole for most of them, although Huge curled in one from 17 feet on the par-3 13th, only to have Delmar deposit one on top of that from four feet.
At the 423-yard 14th, for their second shots, Delmar hit a 100-yard wedge shot to four feet below the hole and Huge hit a 70-yard shot that hit the flagstick and stopped next to the hole.
If all that were not enough, Huge, a 19-year-old Virginia Tech sophomore who was the WMGA Junior of the Year in 2012, stepped up on the 15th tee and cut the corner with his drive, the ball ending up on the green. Delmar, 25, the current WMGA Mid-Am titleholder, was just short of the green on what is listed as a 378-yard hole, but considering the angles taken, each was at least more than 300 yards. Delmar pitched to four feet and after Huge needed two from 12 feet and Delmar made his, each took a birdie-3. Huge ended the spree with a nine-foot birdie putt at the 16th to get back to all square.
"I've had kind of an up-and-down [tournament] summer, so I'm really pleased about this," the 6-foot 5 Huge declared. Although more than a head taller than his opponent, both get incredible distance off the tee and for the most part displayed good course management. "In the first round I was spraying the ball, but my short game saved me. Then I seemed to settle down."
"I drove it well all week, and although I missed a couple of makeable birdie putts, overall it was okay. . .a good match." Delmar said.
Notes -- For the back nine in the morning, not counting No. 11 where Huge conceded after failing to find his drive, Delmar had 11 putts and Huge, 10. . .The two qualified for the U.S. Amateur last year and although neither made match play, each had a 67 in the qualifying phase of the tournament. . .The 2014 championship will be July 31-August 1-3 at Four Streams in northern Montgomery County.
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