Jeff Henry started yesterday's final round of the Washington Metropolitan Golf Association's Frank Emmet Schoolboy tournament at Mount Vernon Country Club with a share of the lead and a defined goal: shoot even par and force the rest of the field to make birdies to catch him.
Henry, a rising junior at Bishop Ireton, played the front nine in even-par 35, opened a six-stroke lead and coasted to a five-stroke victory in the 54-hole event, open to high school golfers who played for their school team in the past academic year. Henry shot a final-round, 3-over 73 for a winning 54-hole score of 8-over 218, becoming the first Ireton player to win the title. Teammate Mike Brideau took second at 13-over 223.
Bowie's Billy Stoutensberger, the Prince George's County champion the past two seasons, and Henry, who won the 2003 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference tournament and three Titleist Junior Tour events last summer, entered yesterday tied at 5 over after 36 holes.
Henry, however, set the tone early with a long birdie at No. 1. After knocking a sand wedge from 116 yards, he rolled in a 30-foot downhill putt to take the lead. But Henry said the hole that really made the difference was the 412-yard, par-4 No. 3, which he birdied.
"The WCAC [victory] got me going last year and improved my game," Henry said. "Over the winter, I made a couple of swing changes. It took a while to get those down, and since then, my short game's gotten better and everything's come together."
-- Dave Yanovitz