Maryland Senior: Tallent dominant

EASTON, Md. (Sept. 6, 2008)--Pat Tallent, who has stormed through assorted Amateur, Mid-Amateur and Senior golf tournaments for the 50-over crowd introduced himself to the 55-over Senior set by the best way he knows -- winning ther golf event.

This was the 80th Senior Amateur championship of the Maryland State Golf Association, and Tallent, a Congressional CC member who turned 55 last month, returned rounds of 69-73--142, and held off a fast-closing Michael Kelly by a stroke at Talbot Country Club in Easton.

Kelly, a recent qualifier for the U.S. Senior Amateur due later this month in Fort Worth, Texas, opened with a 1-over-par 73, was 3-over after an outgoing nine in his second round, then made it close with a 4-under 32 on the back nine to complete a 73-70--143 total. The Eastern Shore course played to a par of 36-36--72 over 6,485 yards.

Tallent, who had five birdies, two bogeys in his opening round, began his second without missing a beat, rapping in the first of two 20-foot putts on the front nine (the other came at the ninth). He birdied the 501-yard, par-5 fifth, then gave it back with a bogey at the sixth. Five under par and eight shots in front, Tallent proceeded to, the back nine in 39, with three bogeys.

"In that stretch, I got it up-and-down a couple of times and didn't on three occasions. I just hit a lot of bad shots," the champion from Vienna, Va., said. "Then, I hit a good 4-iron shot at 18 (180 yards) and that helped me [finish with a par]."

One group in front, Kelly began making his presence felt when he had four birdies in a span of five holes coming home (Nos. 11, 12, 14, 15 -- two of them two-putts on par-5 holes). For the round, he hit 17 greens in regulation - his only miss contributed to a double bogey - and reached 33 of 36 in the two rounds.

"I had some of the best ball-striking of my life," he said.

There were 28 second-round starters who had opened at 78 and better, and for the first two hours, it appeared as though no one was going to make any kind of a run. Of the first 22 finishers, only George Washburn, from Holly Hills CC in Frederick County, had broken 150 (77-71--148). The 71 was the second-low round of the day, and his 148, later matched by Sheldon Kalish, a perennial top-5 contender from Hayfields CC in Hunt Valley, was good for a tie for third. In a previous start, Washburn had tied for fifth in the 2002 event.

Michael Blum, 64, who plays from Forest Park GC in Baltimore, was alone in fifth with 72-77--149. For Blum, a one-time player, this was his second Senior event of the year after getting back into the game within the last couple of years.

--Courtesy MSGA

ABOUT THE Maryland Senior Amateur

This tournament is open to male amateurs who are residents of Maryland or members of member clubs of the Maryland State Golf Association. Entrants must have reached their 55th birthday by the start of the tournament. The tournament will be 36 holes stroke play. The low 24 scores and ties will play a second 18 holes the following day.

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