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Blair Kennedy wins Maryland Amateur Public Links at Clustered Spires
Champion Blair Kennedy (MSGA)
Champion Blair Kennedy (MSGA)
FREDERICK, Md. (July 23, 2015) — Blair Kennedy, from the University of Maryland Golf Club, used a second-round 66 to overhaul the leaders and capture the 13th Maryland State Golf Association Amateur Public Links championship at Clustered Spires Golf Club in Frederick, July 22.

Kennedy, 28, finished 72-66--138, 4 under par for the finely conditioned par 35-36--71, 6,737-yard course, to squeeze past a frustrated first-round leader Tyler Koch, a Swan Point Yacht & Country Club member who lives in Issue, who ended 67-72--139. Nick Barrett, who plays from Waverly Woods Golf Club, finished 71-69--140, tied for third with Mac Bradley, Hobbit's Glen GC, 72-68--140.

Jon Moles, Worthington Manor GC, rounded out the top five with 68-73--141, while Bryan Koslosky, fifth last year, a University of Maryland GC member, made a strong afternoon bid to follow with 73-69--142 in the 55-man field. Thomas Munnelly, Glenn Dale GC, had the only other second round in the 60's, a 69 that landed him at 146.

Koch, 17, a La Plata High School senior who won the Washington Metropolitan Schoolboy title last month, and Kennedy, making his first individual competitive start in two years were tied through 27 holes and still knotted after each birdied hole 10. The only deviation from par the rest of the way was a costly bogey by Koch at the 16th.

"I probably hit the ball better in the afternoon but I didn't make any putts. It was frustrating, because I had made the putts in the morning and ended with five birdies."

Kennedy isn't one to play nine holes for fun, but recently he has been playing some team events on the weekends (and he was a member of the University of Maryland GC's MSGA State Team entry) and as he explained it, "I missed the competition." Two lost balls marred his morning round, but he made a 10-foot birdie putt on the first hole in the afternoon and that got him focused.

Barrett, 22, solo third last year, thought the fact the wind picked up in the afternoon was a factor in his play, while Bradley, who played in the last group with Kennedy and Koch, said, "I was just trying to keep up with them." In trying to "keep up," Bradley's last nine featured four birdies, including three in a row on holes 13-15.

In the morning, Koch (67), Moles (68), MSGA Amateur runner-up Mike Stackus, who also plays from the University of Maryland GC (68), Barrett (69) and Travis Gahman (69), from Musket Ridge GC had the only rounds in the 60's. Moles, who would go on to be -3 through 27 holes before giving up two back-side bogeys, featured an eagle-3 at the 545-yard fifth, reaching the green in two and sinking a 15-foot putt.

Gahman dropped back with a second-round 74, while Ryan Richardson, runner-up last year, had the same situation as Moles on the opposite side, as he started on 10, was 3-under through 27, then shot 4-over on the front to end tied for seventh with 71-72--143.

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