Reported by John Stewart from Four Streams
BEALLSVILLE, MD (July 12, 2006) -- Chip Sullivan continued his string of even-year triumphs, as he successively lowered his scores in thwarting Steve Madsen to win the 85th edition of the Maryland Open, July 12, at the Members Club at Four Streams in Beallsville.
Sullivan, head pro at Ashley Plantation outside of Roanoke, Va., posted 70-69-67--206, and won by three strokes. Madsen, from Wilmington CC, and a Fallston resident, finished 71-68-70--209. Tied after 36 and 45 holes, Sullivan went ahead to stay with a 4-foot birdie putt at the par-3 10th. His previous wins were in 2002 (Bulle Rock) and 2004 (Woodmore), and he is the seventh player to win the event at least three times. With titles in 1996 (Old South) and 2001 (Woodmont), Madsen was also seeking a third championship.
Heading to the back nine, these two were, realistically, the only ones in the hunt. At the end, Madsen had five shots on his closest pursuers. Overall, 46 played the last round -- 21 pros and 25 amateurs. Richard Holland, from Columbia CC, who lost a one-hole playoff to Marty West for low amateur in 1991 (the last time Holland played in this championship), made up for it when he rolled in a 30-foot putt on the sloping 18th green (first playoff hole) to beat Moose Brown, from Hayfields CC, for the Harry Pitt Trophy, after tying at 217. Brown was low amateur (and overall runnerup) last year.
Sullivan and Madsen, who began the day deadlocked at 139, each had three birdies on the front side to remain tied. After Sullivan birdied 10, Madsen bogeyed 11, and when Sullivan birdied 13, the margin was three strokes. A Sullivan bogey dropped it back to two, but the gap quickly went to four when Madsen double-bogeyed the 236-yard, par-3 15th. A two-shot bogey/birdie swing at the sixteenth cut the difference to two strokes, but then Sullivan put the exclamation point on his triumph with a 10-foot birdie putt a the last hole.
"I missed the first three greens, but was able to save par each time," said Sullivan, and that was the key to his round. "I got up-and-down and putted well, and when you're able to do that, it takes the pressure off the rest of your game. It was fun playing with Steve. We're good friends and we had a good time." Madsen bemoaned his "slip-up," on 15, but was quick to praise his friend. "Chip's short game is really, really good, and he won't make many mistakes."
Amateurs Jeff McKnight and Greg Stamas had opposite tours. McKnight, from Old South CC, just squeezed into the final field at 152 (the cutoff), then equalled Madsen's low round of the tournament, a 3-under 68 on Wednesday. Stamas, from Baltimore CC, had two good days with 72-70, but that put him in the last group with Sullivan and Madsen, and, as the recent Gilman School graduate expressed it, "I was really nervous," and the result was a 77. Overall, though, he did a good job of keeping his game together.
Future Maryland Open Championships are slated for Chartwell (2007), Fountain Head (2008), Hillendale (2009), Manor (2010), Maryland Golf (2011), Old South (2012), and the Country Club of Maryland (2013).
For complete results, click on the tournament link above.