Golfers do plenty of begging and pleading, hoping and wishing. And on Monday, at the county high school championships at Compass Pointe in Pasadena, most of that was happening on the par 5 East Course eighth hole. Three-putts and four-putts were typical, with the pin placed on the top of a ridge so close to the edge of the green that the slightest miscalculation sent the ball tumbling down to the fringe.
Severna Park junior Kelly Lynch beat the odds -- and parred the hole that cost at least one player a five-putt. She finished with the low score, a five-over 77, to lead Severna Park to a 319 team score and its third straight county championship. Broadneck carded a 340 for second and South River was third at 355. Severna Park had four golfers shoot at or below 82.
"I did pretty well but didn't play that great," Lynch said when she was done. "It feels good [to win] on a hard day like today."
Broadneck sophomore Matt Hardie carded the boys' low score with a 78. He was followed by Severna Park juniors Matt Guanti (79) and Eric Florenz (81).
On the girls' side, Lynch defeated Arundel freshman Lauren Smith (82) and South River senior Diana Woodall (87).
Things should get easier for Severna Park, and the other teams as well, at the District V Tournament on Monday: They will be playing at Eisenhower, a course most county golfers know well. The course may make Severna Park a favorite to win again this year. Last season, the Falcons posted a record 306 at Eisenhower in the county championships. They also have a good record in District V competition, winning the 2003 title outright and sharing it with Broadneck in 2004.
"We hope to continue to play consistently" on Monday, said Severna Park Coach Paul Pellicani. "The thing is just handling adversity, handling bad shots, bad breaks. . . . Mentally, how do you persevere through that."
Lynch said she is expecting to continue her success at Districts.
"It should be a lot easier," Lynch said. "Everyone knows the course well, and it's a lot more forgiving."
She should know; she finished second to Guanti's 149 in the preseason tournament at Eisenhower and shot a 64 in tournament play at the course over the summer.
Guanti may take what he called "the best piece of advice I've gotten in a long time" to Districts. While reviewing his swing with a local teaching professional at Arundel Golf Park, Guanti was told to go with a 75 percent swing on every shot. The nice-and-easy approach has worked for him.
Though the day belonged to Severna Park, the best shot was by Annapolis senior Kiel Walsh, who carded a hole-in-one on the North course No. 6.