BETHESDA, MD (June 13, 2010)--Sean Bosdosh from Clarksburg parred the 2nd play-off hole to claim the 89th Maryland Amateur title on the Gold Course at Congressional Country Club. Just five weeks past his 18th birthday, Bosdosh replaces Will Shriver as the youngest champion in Amateur history. On the second play-off hole, both Bosdosh and Unikel drove into the same left fairway bunker. Approaching from a bit better angle, Bosdosh struck a pitching wedge to the back collar of the green, leaving a difficult uphill putt. Unikel left his approach shot short left and was unable to save par. Bosdosh's careful two-putt ended the drama.
Noting that he "drove the ball well," the winner admitted having trouble with his irons during the previous days. Sean's father Steve, Director of Instruction at Four Streams, offered some tips that helped the young Bosdosh's confidence.
Unikel, who won the 1998 Maryland Open at Crofton as an amateur, turned pro two years later and "played on every imaginable tour," before turning to the business world as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch and regaining his amateur status. He had only played in one tournament in five years. "I felt like I didn't play my game today [compared to the earlier rounds]," but he noted that "It takes time to get your game back in shape."
Admittedly "sloppy" in the early going, Unikel, 31, rallied on the second nine of the morning with three birdies for the lowest nine-hole score of the 31 matches and went to lunch 2 up. Bosdosh had cut the lead to two holes with an 8-iron to less than a foot at the tough par 3 eighteenth hole.
He then won four holes with pars and one with birdie to take a 3 up lead through 28 holes. Unikel got one back at the par 3 eleventh but was still down by two holes. With solid ball-striking, he won three of holes 14 - 17 while losing one to get to all square. The only hole Unikel lost in the stretch was the controversial 15th where he missed a tough putt and then picked up the ball that had come to rest within inches of the hole. He looked up to hear Bosdosh's words: "I did not say anything." Since the referee was required to act on any breach of a Rule, the resulting one stroke penalty cost Unikel the hole. "We had been giving them back and forth and the ball was only three or four inches. It was an error in judgment." Both players made tough par putts at the 18th to send the match into extra holes. The match stands as one of the toughest battles in Maryland Amateur history.
The 90th Maryland Amateur will be conducted at Hillendale Country Club on June 9-12, 2011.
- Reported by John Stewart from Congressional
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