Cusic, Vallandingham share Maryland Amateur Public Links title
Co-champions Mark Cusic (L) and Tracy Vallandingham (R) <br>(Maryland Golf Association Photo)</br>
Co-champions Mark Cusic (L) and Tracy Vallandingham (R)
(Maryland Golf Association Photo)
WHITE HALL, MD (July 28, 2016) -- Mark Cusic and Tracy Vallandingham, Southern Maryland friends since growing up in the Leonardtown/California area, each shot a par-matching total of 71 to share the championship of the Maryland State Golf Association's 14th Public Links tournament. The scheduled 36-hole program at Greystone Golf Course July 28 was reduced to a single 18-hole round because of stormy weather conditions in the afternoon.

Cusic, 37, and Vallandingham, 34, graduated from Leonardtown High School four years apart but Mark knew the family from playing baseball with Tracy's older brother. They have been golfing friends for years while often matched in the same tournament and both have played on Breton Bay Golf & Country Club's "A" team in team matches.

Each was on the final tee of his round at the first weather delay shortly after noon so they knew where they stood -- tied -- when they went back out about 2 p.m. They were in the clubhouse when the horn blew signalling a final stoppage in advance of a soon-to-arrive storm.

Cusic, runner-up to champion Steve Delmar in 2012 in this event, started on the back and turned 2 under. A double-bogey (a 3-putt at the third) and a bogey left him 1 over through the fourth but he got back to even with a birdie at the fifth and finished 38-33. Vallandingham, winner of the Southern Maryland Open earlier in the season, started with a birdie at the first but also doubled the third. Two over through the seventh, he birdied the eighth, and went on to shoot the final eight holes in 2 under to finish 37-34. The northern Baltimore County course was played at 6,819 yards to a par of 36-35--71.

In the 2012 event, Delmar led Cusic by two after the first round at Falls Road GC, but three front-nine birdies helped Cusic get even through the sixth. Two Delmar birdies on the back nine sent him in front and a Cusic birdie at the 17th still left him one behind. He finished 68-140 to Delmar's 69-139.

This time, Noah Davis, from Mountain Branch GC, ended third after a round that included four birdies and a triple-bogey (also at the third) on his way to 72. Adam Dodson was fourth with 73, aided by three back-nine birdies, and John Dustin, University of Maryland GC, rounded out the top five with a 75 in the 57-man field.

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