The Maryland golf championships were decided yesterday with barely any of the place-winners on hand at the University of Maryland Golf Course.

Tuesday's rain forced officials to change the format, reducing both the 4A/3A and the 2A/1A tournaments from 36 to 18 holes. Churchill was awarded the 4A/3A team title after a 306 on Monday, which at the time was scheduled to be the first day of the event, and five boys from 4A/3A schools who shot 1-over-par 72 Monday shared the individual title when no 2A/1A player shot better than 73 yesterday.

Smithsburg won the 2A/1A team championship yesterday with a 321, one stroke better than Stephen Decatur.

"It's regrettable, and we wish we could have" played all three days, Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Executive Director Ned Sparks said. "For the most part, people understand."

The boys' individual winners were La Plata's Vincent Hancock, Aberdeen's Pat Hinch, Northern's Sam Hoffer, Churchill's Devin Kay and Northwest's Taylor Murdoch. A tie after two rounds would have forced a playoff.

"Any [solution] really would have worked, except this way," Hoffer said in a phone interview.

The round of 4-over 75 by Severna Park's Kelly Lynch on Monday also held up yesterday, giving her the girls' title.

None were at the golf course yesterday to accept their winner's medals. But Eleanor Roosevelt sophomore Caroline Sweet, who shot 77 on Monday, was there. She finished tied for third.

"It was frustrating, but I wanted to come back and get" my medal, she said.

Sparks said the MPSSAA will consider allowing for a rain date at the state golf committee's annual meeting in April. He said, though, that the provision to shorten the tournament was outlined in the tournament bulletin at the start of the season.

In 2002, the tournament was also shortened to one round -- and held a week later at Clustered Spires Golf Course in Frederick -- because of the Washington area sniper attacks.

The best area score yesterday came from Oakland Mills junior Donnie Shin, who overcame bogeys on each of the first three holes to shoot 73, which put him in a four-way tie for sixth.

Shin said it was very difficult to play his best, knowing he had to shoot 72 or better in order to win.

"It's more nervous," he said. "You've got more pressure because it's just one day. In two days, it's easier for me to come back. A one-day [tournament] for me, it's not my type. You've got to have a chance to come back."