When Jeanne Murphy sank a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to square the girls championship match yesterday at the 25th Bobby Bowers Memorial junior golf tournament, it looked as if 13-year-old Jenny Suh's moment would have to wait.
But as she had all week long, Suh showed a maturity on the golf course well beyond her years. She survived a wayward tee shot on the first playoff hole at Springfield Golf and Country Club and held on to become the youngest girls champion in the match-play tournament's history.
"Jenny sure didn't play like she was 13," said Murphy. "She could be a star. She's that good."
Suh, who will be a freshman at Chantilly High School, said, "They were all older and I knew I would have another four years to try to win here. That's how I kept myself calm."
In the 16- to 17-year-old boys division, Spence Andrews became the first male player to defend his age-group title since Joey Sadowski in 1976. He defeated co-medalist Ben Phelps, 5 and 4, parring the first 12 holes and shooting even par through his 14 holes.
"I got a little lucky and played guys who weren't playing their best when I was playing bad," said Andrews, 17. "But defending is a whole lot tougher than winning the first time, because you're the guy everybody wants to beat."
The tournament will award $1,000 in Suh and Andrews's names to the general scholarship fund of the schools of the winners' choice.
Ryan Sypniewski, a 14-year-old from Radford, Va., and last year's 13-and-under champion, defeated Nicholas Tipton, 1 up, in 20 holes to capture the 14-15 championship. Travis Allen defeated Woodbridge's Daniel Kefale, 2 and 1, to win the 13-and-under title.
MARYLAND WOMEN'S AMATEUR: Two weeks ago, Jessica Lewis won the 16- and 17-year-old division of the Maryland State Golf Association's junior girls championship.
Today, she will try to beat the woman who handed her the trophy. Lewis, who turned 18 a week ago to become eligible for the 78th annual MSGA women's division amateur championship, faces Andrea Kraus, who was the tournament director for the junior girls event, in the final of the match-play tournament at Argyle Country Club.
Lewis, a recent St. Andrews School graduate who plays at Columbia Country Club, defeated Erin Clasper, 3 and 1, in the semifinals. Clasper, a Wootton graduate who plays at Congressional, is a two-time All-Met and a two-time Maryland state champion. She will be one of the first women to play on the University of Maryland's new women's golf team next year.
Kraus, the 1994 champion who set a course record in Tuesday's qualifier with a 69, defeated Karen Jones, the 1981 winner from Argyle, 8 and 6.
Scores on Page D9
VIRGINIA STATE OPEN: Faber Jamerson of Appomattox fired a 6-under-par 66 for a two-shot lead in the first round in Williamsburg. Fairfax pro Danny Lee shot a 68 and was in second place.