Kelly Manders hadn't seen Worthington Manor Golf Club until the first round of the 71st annual Frank Emmet Schoolboy championship. But by yesterday's final round, Manders was treating the 7,034-yard course in Urbana like it was home.
The 18-year-old first-team All-Met from DeMatha overcame one poor hole to shoot a 1-under-par 71 on the final day and win the prestigious junior tournament by three strokes. He finished 79-72-71 -- 222.
"Wednesday was the first time I ever played it," Manders said. "I hit the ball a lot better [Thursday] and [yesterday] than I did the first day."
Kyle Stough, another first-team All-Met from DeMatha, and Mitch Van Zandt of Severna Park tied for second place at 225. Van Zandt shot a 69 on the final day to move up from fifth place, but ended up third after Stough birdied the third playoff hole to decide second place. Myles Vlachos, a first-team All-Met from Urbana, finished fourth at 227. Jeff Henry of Bishop Ireton, last year's champion, came in fifth at 228.
After starting the day two shots behind Vlachos, Manders had the lead by the seventh hole. He made a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 2 then made birdies on the two par 5s -- Nos. 5 and 9 -- to make the turn at 1 under. Vlachos was fading, but Stough was only one stroke back.
"After Myles shot 40 on the front, I picked up five [strokes] on that side alone," Manders said. "I thought I was in good position. I didn't know how Jeff was playing, and Kyle was right there, but I figured as long as I keep making pars . . . ."
Manders appeared to have a secure lead after making birdies on three of his first five holes on the back nine, including a nice chip in on No. 13. Then he gave hope to Stough with a triple-bogey on No. 17.
Despite that setback, Manders birdied his final hole to finish even on the back.
-- Kathy Orton