Walter Egloff (MSGA photo)
Resilient and relentless.
Once Morgan Egloff, from the Chevy Chase Club, shifted into a higher gear, the final match in the 97th Amateur championship of the Maryland State Golf Association was all but decided in the morning round at Baltimore Country Club’s East Course, June 10. Once past the fifth hole, Joey Rice, from Old South CC, was playing from behind the rest of the scheduled 36 holes.
The pair halved two of the first five holes with birdies, but Egloff added two more to turn 2-under and 3 up. He lost 10, but bounced right back — as he often had during the earlier rounds — and when he won three holes in a row, two with birdies, he had a 67 for the round and the lead was 6 up. The course was played at about 7,000 yards to a par of 70.
They played fairly even the rest of the way and Egloff ended the match on the 33rd hole with a birdie, good for a 5-and-3 victory. The day was overcast and generally gloomy, with a two-hour rain delay in the early afternoon.
“I started hitting it better yesterday [June 9] and my iron play was good all day,” said Egloff. 21. a Rollins junior.
Actually, the iron play of both players was solid. Time and again Rice would be inside of his opponent on the greens, only to have Egloff make it, putting the pressure back the other way. And one time when Rice made a 25-footer for birdie at the par-3 fourth, Egloff topped it from 16 feet.
For the match, both players hit about the same number of fairways and greens, but Egloff controlled the greens with 25 putts to 33 for Rice, who included two 3-putts in his total. Where Egloff finished with nine birdies, Rice, 28, an insurance agent who lives in Annapolis, had three — only one in the last 17 holes.
Egloff produced the shot of the day, one that took him to 6 up, at the 450-yard 15th. He put his approach shot on the back left of the elevated green and was looking at a daunting sloping stroke to a hole that was set on the front right. Faced at a 45-degree angle, he touched it just right. The ball took the curve, went down the slope and at just the right moment broke right and rolled 10 feet straight into the cup. Rice had a similar look and produced another great shot, but the ball slid by the cup.
Notes — Egloff was the medalist in the 2014 Amateur. . .He will play in the Monroe Invitational tournament in Rochester, N.Y, this week. . .Rice missed all of last year after breaking his wrist. . .Next year’s Amateur will be held at the Chevy Chase Club.
Match Play-Quarter Finals & Semi-Finals
Joey Rice, of Old South Country Club, opened a two-hole lead on defending champion Ben Warnquist, from Manor CC, at the 10th hole and went on to thwart his bid to repeat, 2 and 1, and Morgan Egloff, the Chevy Chase Club, won four of the first five holes from Zach Barbin, Chesapeake Bay GC, and cruised to a 5-and-4 victory in the semifinals of the 97th Amateur championship of the Maryland State Golf Association at Baltimore CC, June 9.
Rice won the seventh and eighth holes (up-and-down for birdie at the 300-yard, par-4) to go from 1-down to 1-up, won the 10th with a bogey, and was ahead to stay. Warnquist won the sixth with a birdie for 1 up, but would win only one more hole the rest of the way, the 14th. Rice came back to win 16 with a par to restore his margin and when they halved the 17th it was over. Warnquist had one final chance, but his 12-foot downhill bid for birdie had the right speed but the ball just slid by the hole.
The defeat ended a streak of success for Warnquist in the Amateur, as he had gone 17-2 in his work over the last five years. Included in the run were championships in 2015 and 2017. The best effort by Rice, 28, was a quarterfinal berth in 2014. Overall, he is 6-3 since making his debut in 2009, one year after Warnquist, who was 1-4 before going to the semifinals in 2014.
In a pairing of collegians, Egloff, 21 and a Rollins junior, won four of the first five holes to go 3-up on Barbin, 19, a Liberty sophomore, and he was 4 up at the turn. A birdie sent the lead to 5 up and it stayed there against a tiring foe.
Barbin, who had made birdies in bunches in the first three rounds, won only the second, where he stuck an approach shot to a foot at the elevated green.
In the morning quarterfinals, which were completed before an early afternoon rainstorm forced a two-hour rain delay, Warnquist, 25, fell 3-down against Chevy Chase’s Lee Detmer, 21, a Wake Forest senior, in the first five holes, but stopped the bleeding with birdies at Nos. 6, 8, and 9. The two-time champion won three holes on the back to bring home a 3-and-2 win. Benton Weinberg, from TPC Potomac, was level with Rice after 12 holes, but the rest was all Rice, as he won four holes in a row, including a birdie at the 14th, stretched to 600 yards.
Barbin produced a couple of birdie runs to beat Ryan Kelly, U.S. Naval Academy GC, a Lehigh junior, 4 and 3. Barbin won 8-9 to turn 1 up, lost 10, then won three holes in a row. Egloff took four holes in a row in the middle of his match against Marshall Meisel, a Chevy Chase clubmate and, at 15, the youngest qualifier, to set up a 4-and-3 triumph.
Match Play-Round of 32 & 16
The third time was the charm for Morgan Egloff, from the Chevy Chase Club.
Egloff qualified for match play (par 70) in the 97th MSGA Amateur championship at Baltimore Country Club, June 7th, then made it through two rounds to the quarterfinals, June 8. It was his best advance in three tries.
In 2014, also at Baltimore CC, Egloff, then 17 and a Landon School senior, was the medalist with 3-under-par 67 over the East Course, then lost in the first round. Last year, he shot 2-over 72 to qualify at Columbia CC, and again lost in the first time.
This time it took some work, but he won the first four holes against Pieter DeGroot, from TPC-Potomac, and eventually held him off with a win at the 17th for a 2-and-1 victory. In the afternoon, he won three holes in the middle of the back nine, but Vance Welch, the oldest qualifier at 52, drew within one with a win at 17. Egloff responded with a winning par at the 18th for a 2-up triumph.
He thus became the third (of eight) qualifier from Chevy Chase, joining Lee Detmer and Marshall Meisel. Detmer, who hit 17 greens in regulation with four birdies in qualifying with 69, was at it again against Argyle CC’s Matthew Malits in the opening round, stringing five wins in a row en route to a 6-and-5 triumph. Later, against Evan Brown, Detmer, a Wake Forest senior, went 2 up on the front, then won four of the five holes he needed to win, 6 and 4.
Meisel, 15, who qualified with a 71, and who made an impression when he won last year’s 14-15 division in the Bobby Gorin tournament at Woodmont CC, took out a former champion and a finalist the first day, when he thwarted Baltimore CC member Michael Mulieri, the 2008 titlist at Woodholme, in 19 holes, and Hillendale CC’s Chris Baloga, who lost to Denny McCarthy in 2014. Mulieri got even at the 18th, but Meisel, seemingly unfazed by this, bounced right back with a par to end it.
The morning and afternoon rounds were studies in contrast, as five of the early matches did not go beyond the 15th green, while there were two overtime games in each session. In the earlier one, Baloga, 2-down at the turn, got those back, then won with a par at the first extra hole against Andrew Rice, from Baltimore CC.
Later, in a pairing of Old South CC members Joey Rice and Charlie Winegardner, who never had more than a one-hole difference between them (both shot 69), Winegardner won 16 to get even; Rice birdied 17 for 1-up, only to have Winegardner birdie 18 to force overtime. Rice then won with a par on the second playoff hole. The other overtime saw Mac Webster, from Baltimore CC, birdie 17 and par 18 to tie Benton Weinberg, from TPC Potomac, who went on to win with a par at the second extra hole.
On-Site Qualifying (Thursday, June 7)
It might have been the easiest thing Zachary Barbin did all day; it was certainly the best, as he claimed the medal in on-site qualifying for the 97th Maryland State Golf Association Amateur championship at Baltimore Country Club, June 7.
Barbin, from Chesapeake Bay Golf Club, and one of four players to shoot 68 in the regulation round, was the only one to appear for an early evening playoff and as a result accepted the prize and said, “Thank you.”
Playing in the event for the first time, Barbin, 19, a rising sophomore at Liberty University, finished 32-36–68 over the East Course, which was played at 6.972 yards to a par of 35-35–70. He started on the back, doubled the 11th, but got one of them back with a 30-foot putt at the 15th. He improved his standing with three front-nine birdies, all from inside 12-15 feet,
The other 68’s were authored by Andrew Rice, Baltimore CC; Mac Webster, Baltimore CC, and Joey Rice, IV, from Old South CC. Andrew Rice, 34, a finalist in this event in 2013, also started on the back, put up book-end birdies at 10 (8 feet) and 18 (30 feet), then came home with two birdies, two bogeys. Webster, 18, a recent Gilman School graduate, had one bogey on the back, then made three birdies on the front, while Joey Rice, 28, then offset two early bogeys with three successive birdies late to turn 1 under, then birdied 10, bogeyed 12, and birdied 17, where he had a tricky four-foot putt on that treacherous slope. He dropped a 25-foot putt at the second to save bogey and the three-in-a-row were all from inside 12 feet.
Bennett Buch, from Cattail Creek CC; Justin Feldman, from Lakewood CC, and Lee Detmer, from Chevy Chase Club, all had 69’s, and there were four 70’s among the 130 starters. The low scorers in three of the four qualifiers were among those making match play. They were Matt Bassler, CC of Maryland, 71; Webster, and Mike O’Neil, Baltimore CC, 71.
With 2017 champion Ben Warnquist, from Manor CC, placed at the top of the draw and making 31 spots available, the cut fell at 73, with nine players to play for five places. They needed only two holes to take care of the needed separation, as Mark Cusic, Breton Bay Golf & CC, and Jon Moles, Clustered Spires GC, birdied the first hole and Ian Simon, Turf Valley CC; Chris Baloga, Hillendale CC, a 2014 finalist, and John Brundred, Congressional CC, advanced with pars at the second. Falling out were Bart Mease, Manor CC, a MSGA Amateur finalist and a Washington Metropolitan Amateur champion last year; Ben Shields, Pine Ridge GC, last year’s Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation match play champion; Billy Peel, Columbia CC, and Jeff Graf, Congressional CC.
Play will continue through the weekend with two rounds slated for Friday and Saturday, and a 36-hole wind-up Sunday.
Reported by John Stewart
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