Tripp Shreves rolled in a 12-foot downhill par putt on the 17th hole to defeat Hunter Albright, 2 and 1, for the championship of the 14- to 15-year-old division in the Frank Emmet Schoolboy tournament at Manor Country Club yesterday.
In the 16- to 18-year-old division, form held. Top seeds Jon Hurst and Craig Antonucci, advanced to today's final with two match play victories apiece.
Shreves, whose age is the same as his shoe size -- 15 -- justified his No. 1 seeding for the 53rd version of this tournament with steady play and a smooth putting stroke.
"You have to put away your pride on this course," said Shreves, who was the medalist for his division in Monday's qualifying round with 76.
Shreves, a rising sophomore at Georgetown Prep who made The Washington Post All-Met golf team as a freshman, often used an iron off the tee on Manor's tight fairways.
The strategy was successful, as he held off a strong challenge from Albright, an unexpected finalist.
Albright, a rising sophomore at Langley High School, tied for the highest score among the eight qualifiers on Monday, 82, and drew the seventh seed.
But he racked up two impressive upsets Tuesday, beating No. 2 seed Chris Coulther of McNamara, 6 and 5, and No. 3 seed John Hilliard, a teammate of Shreves, 7 and 5.
"I was really hitting the ball well Tuesday," Albright said. "But today I never quite got it together."
The two players were even through eight holes. Shreves got a break on No. 9, a 459-yard par 5, when his tee shot rebounded off a tree and back into the fairway. He sank a 15-footer to birdie the hole and go 1 up.
Albright hit an iron into the water at 11, and Shreves parred to go 2 up. Albright's par at the 14th brought him to only one hole back again, and he made a six-foot par putt at the 16th to stay close.
At the 17th, both players missed the green. Shreves got up and down in two, and Albright's 20-footer missed by an inch to end the match.
Hurst's semifinal against 21st-seeded David Gildea in the 16-18 division showcased some of the day's best shotmaking. The two halved eight of the first nine holes, each scrambling for numerous pars. Hurst turned at 1 up, but Gildea picked the stroke back up at the 10th hole when Hurst three-putted.
Hurst then showed why he was the No. 1 seed, winning four of the next six holes. His par putt at the 16th clinched a 4 and 2 victory.
The other semifinal was a wild affair, Antonucci going 4 up early against Jon Krinn, quickly losing his lead with some ragged play, but getting it back on No. 11 and rolling in a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 16 to take the match, 3 and 2.