Kevin Grady (MSGA photo)
ROCKVILLE, MD (August 7, 2018) - Kevin Grady recorded a 1-under-par effort in his closing round and the first-day leader ended with 68-71–139 to capture the 32nd Mid-Amateur championship of the Maryland State Golf Association at Woodmont Country Club.
This proved to be enough to hold off Charlie Winegardner (70-70–140) and Nick Barrett (70-71–142). Five challengers who had opened with 69’s soared between two and six strokes above par and were not factors in their bids for the title.
Grady, from Ellicott City, who plays from Rolling Road Golf Club, was making his first start in the event. “The only reason I entered was because it was at Woodmont,” the 30-year-old salesman for an electronics firm reported. “I love the golf course. Usually, though, I just play club stuff.”
A missed-green at the North Course’s opening hole led to a 25-foot two-putt for bogey, At the par-5 third, he was pin-high in two and got up-and-down for birdie, and backed that up with a 25-foot birdie putt at the par-3 sixth. Birdies at 10-11 were each a chip and a putt, but they were balanced when he hit an 8-iron second shot at the 420-yard uphill 12th and watched as the ball went dead over the green, It took four more shots to find the cup.
He said he had calmed down with the two front-nine birdies and was solid after 12 as he parred the last six holes. “the t-ball was a little squirrelly, but I felt confident all day, especially with the putter.”
Winegardner, 28, from Lothian and Old South CC, who had won the Washington Metropolitan Amateur championship on his home course the day before the Mid-Am started, had two birdies on the front and a birdie and a bogey on the back for his score.
Barrett, from Ellicott City, who plays from Turf Valley Resort, was making an appearance in his first year of eligibility after turning 25 within the past year. He had two birdies on the front nine and a birdie and two bogeys on the back. The key was, “hitting my wedge shots close,” he said.
With third place locked up, the project manager for a software company declared, “This was my best tournament of the season.”
The first-day cut fell at 78 and 42 players qualified for the second round. The opening day was marred by two interruptions for weather disturbances and the second day produced steamy conditions with temperatures in the 90’s.
Kevin Grady, from Ellicott City, the last player in the morning wave to return a card, posted 35-33–68, and took a one-stroke lead halfway through the 32d Mid-Amateur championship of the Maryland State Golf Association at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, August 6.
Five players shot 69, and three more were at 70 in a starting field of 110 who played the North Course at 6.930 yards. Play was suspended three times for a total of two hours in the afternoon because of weather disturbances.
Grady, in his first start in this event, although he played in the MSGA Open last year, began on the back nine and had three birdies, two in the 12-15-foot range, by the turn. Coming back, there were three birdies, two bogeys. Overall, he got up-and-down for birdie three times.
A graduate of the University of South Carolina-Aiken, the Rolling Road Golf Club member tried to play professionally for a couple of years but backed away and regained his amateur status three years ago.
At 69 were Mike Stackus, Hobbit’s Glen GC; Woodmont club champion Joe Scheffres; Michael Meyer, Lakewood CC; Thomas Sutterfield, National GC, and Tracy Vallandingham, Breton Bay G&CC, followed at 70 by Nick Barrett, Turf Valley CC; Ben Shields, Pine Ridge GC, and Charlie Winegardner, Old South CC, winner of the Washington Metropolitan Amateur the day before. Billy Peel, Columbia CC, was alone at 71.
Stackus, who tied for third last year, finished with five birdies — four of them from inside five feet — and two bogeys after missing greens. “I hadn’t played here in two-three years and I love the changes,” he said. “The greens are perfect and if you get on them there is a high percentage you’ll make the putt.”
Scheffres had five birdies two bogeys, with his longest birdie putt a 20-footer; Meyer also had five birdies, two bogeys, with four of his birdies coming on the front, his opening nine. Sutterfield, another playing in the event for the first time, had three birdies in a bogey-free tour, with his longest putt coming at the 16th, where he came out of a bunker to 20 feet and made it for par.
Vallandingham, whose best finish in the championship has been a tie for eighth eight years ago, made his best start, beginning on the back nine, where he made three of his four birdies and had his only bogey.
In a companion, one-day net division, Yang Chen, Northwest GC, and Max Rosenberg, MSGA e-club, shared first place with 71’s, followed by Barry Andrews, U.S. Naval Academy, at 73.
42 players at 78 and better will play the second and final round beginning at 7:30 on Tuesday, August 7.
View results for Maryland Mid-Amateur