West wins Maryland Senior title
HAMPSTEAD, Maryland (Sept. 7, 2012) -- Marty West rode the only tournament score in the 60's -- a 2-under-par 69 -- to the championship of the 84th Senior Amateur of the Maryland State Golf Association at Piney Branch Golf Club in Hampstead, September 7. West, from Columbia Country Club, highlighted his closing round with an eagle, going on to finish 70-69--139. This was two shots clear of his closest pursuer, Mike Occi. who had 71-70 --141.

Midway of the round, Michael Kelly, playing with West in the final group, turned 1-under for the tournament and matched West at 2-under with a birdie at 13. At the 478-yard 14th, however, West, 20 yards short of the green in two, holed his third shot for an eagle to a two-stroke margin after Kelly failed to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker. Kelly, from Lake Presidential GC, closed with 70-72--142, and third place.

Asked later if there were any major differences in his play from 2004, the year of his only other title in this event, a fellow competitor answered for him, "Just good. Always was, always will be,"

Kelly was making a comeback of sorts since he did not play at all last year. He was making his first appearance since 2010. "It felt good to be back and in the hunt again," he said. "Still, there's golf and then there's tournament golf."

Occi, from Cattail Creek CC, the 2010 titlist, and in the lead for a third consecutive MSGA Senior Player-of-the-Year award, birdied the ninth to turn 1 under for the the round and the tournament. He finally squeezed past Kelly into second place when he birdied the 18th hole from six feet.

Bobby Morris, from Congressional CC, set a record of sorts when he won a second consecutive Super Senior title, both at age 65, the minimum age for the division. It happened because the tournament is a week earlier this year, and his birthday is next week. He was the only one of five Super Seniors who made the cut (24 players at 76 and better) to improve on a first-round score, finishing 74-71--145.

Six weeks ago, Morris won the Middle Atlantic Seniors with 75-65--140 at Bulle Rock, but, as has been indicated, low numbers were not a part of this mix. "I was 2 under for the round through 14, but it's hard to attack this golf course; you have to play defensively," he explained. This was particularly true of the greens, which are, for the most part, slippery slopes. Barry Flaer, from Maryland National, led the division after the first round with 70, but dropped back with 76 to place second at 146.

The 2013 edition of this event will be held September 11-12 at Manor CC in Rockville.

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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