Occi Outlasts West and Morris at the Maryland Senior

SEVERNA PARK, MD (Sept. 17, 2010) -- First-day leader Mike Occi, from Cattail Creek Country Club, struggled to a 2-over-par 74, but it was enough to thwart his closest challengers, perennial contenders Marty West and Bobby Morris, in the 82nd Senior Amateur championship of the Maryland State Golf Association at Chartwell Country Club in Severna Park, September 17. West vaulted into second place with the day's low round, a 2-under-par 70, to finish at 143. Morris was third, 70-75--145.

Occi, a 55-year-old Clarksville resident, said, "I thought the course played harder than the first day. Then, the par-5's were eachable [in two], but this time, because of overnight rain and a breeze, you could not reach any of them." In the first round, he was 4 under par, including an eagle at the 474-yard 18th, but in the second one, he had a birdie and four pars.

West, from Columbia Country Club, made a late charge with three birdies in the last four holes, including Nos. 17-18, Morris, a two-time winner of the event from Congressional Country Club, had the second-low round the first day, 70, but made his only birdie at the third hole, then went three over par on the next two holes and added a bogey in the middle of the back nine.

Michael Weiner, from Hayfields Country Club, runnerup last year, had the only other sub-par opening round, a 71, but slipped back with a 75 and finished fourth.

With the field cut to the low 24 and ties, 28 players from the original 80-man field played the final round in mild, sunny weather on a par-72 course that mesured 6,336 yards. Only West, defending champion Ben Clements (76- 75), and Ben Brundred (75-73) improved on first-round scores.

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