Spence Andrews has grown three inches and, as a result, has had to change his putting stroke in the past year. But he is still in position to become the second boy to successfully defend his age-group title at the Bobby Bowers Memorial junior golf tournament after winning in the 16- and 17-year-old division quarterfinals yesterday.
Andrews's presence today should help make the final day of the 25th annual match-play tournament more interesting. Four of the five qualifying medalists, including 13-year-old Jenny Suh, advanced to the semifinals for the first time at the Springfield Golf and Country Club.
"My putting has gotten worse, and my hitting has gotten better," Andrews said. "But I don't think any differently. I still take them one opponent at a time."
Andrews, from Glen Allen, Va., defeated Greg Fulk, 5 and 3, in the third round and beat Fairfax High School junior Will Britt, 3 and 2, in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he will face Ryan Stinnett, who defeated recent Frank Emmett Schoolboy champion James Farrah, 3 and 2, in the quarterfinals. Stinnett, 17, from Amherst, Va., was the youngest semifinalist in the Virginia state men's amateur two weeks ago.
In the other semifinal, recent Severn School graduate Ted Kimmel will meet qualifying co-medalist Ben Phelps of Baltimore. Kimmel, 17, is the only Washington area boy older than 13 to advance past the quarterfinals. He defeated co-medalist Steven Colnitis, 3 and 1, in the third round and Fairfax senior Matt Johnson, 2 and 1, in the quarterfinals.
Suh, from Fairfax, has not had to play a match past the 12th hole in the girls division, which includes players as old as 17. She defeated Julie Clasper, 7 and 6, on Tuesday and Megan Grimm, 8 and 6, yesterday. She will face Potomac native Sarah O'Neill -- a 2-and-1 quarterfinal winner over Meg Davies -- in the semifinals.
The other semifinal will match 1997 champion Kansas Gooden, of Staunton, Va., against St. Stephen's/St. Agnes senior Jeanne Murphy. Gooden defeated Casey Rotella, 5 and 4, and Murphy defeated Tina Vlahakis, 7 and 5, to advance.
In the boys 14-15 age group, medalist Ryan Sypniewski defeated Seji Hirai and Centreville sophomore Dan Hogan. Sypniewski, last year's 13-and-under champion, will meet Tucker Bradshaw in the semifinals. Bradshaw defeated Jonathan Sumner and Rockville native Joe Scheffers. Stephen Krug and Nicholas Tipton will meet in the other semifinal.
Today's 13-and-under semifinals will match medalist Dustin Groves against Daniel Kefale and Christopher Yim against Justin Broom.