June 13, 2013
Mitchellville, Md. - Denny McCarthy, from Argyle Country Club, used good course management and solid ball-striking to win the 92nd Maryland State Golf Association's Amateur Championship at rain-soaked Country Club at Woodmore, defeating Andrew Rice, Baltimore CC, 4 & 3, on Tuesday, June 11.
An All-ACC selection in 2013, McCarthy qualified for the NCAA Championships as an individual competitor where he finished 22nd. McCarthy had previously won the Maryland Open, capturing the title in 2010.
The winner built a 3-up lead in the morning, expanded it to 6 up through 27 holes, then held off a late burst by Rice. For the match, McCarthy produced 3-wood accuracy off the tee, setting up laser approach shots to greens as receptive as dartboards. While he said he missed some putts he usually makes, he still made enough to convert eight birdies and keep Rice at arm's length.
Rice, meanwhile, was launching enough good shots to hold his opponent's attention, but he did not win a hole in the middle 18, and when he birdied the par-3 12th (30th), it was his first since the ninth hole in the morning.
"I felt really comfortable," McCarthy said. "It's a pretty cool feeling knowing I could hit any shot I wanted."
The first nine in the morning was back-and-forth, although McCarthy pointed out there was a two-hole swing his way that could have gone either way.
"And he made some great pars in the morning." Rice followed his afternoon birdie by winning the 13th to be 4-down, but that was it, as they halved the next two holes to end it. Rice was handed the 13th when McCarthy was penalized for taking a practice swing in a bunker -- after he had flubbed a shot from the only bunker he found all day.
McCarthy reached 14 greens in the morning, then hit every fairway and all but one green (he still made par) in the afternoon, while Rice hit a total of 17 greens. Counting the final as two rounds, there were six rounds of match play and McCarthy never went beyond the 15th green except for the first round of the final.
It turned out to be a six-day event, as the first day of match play was rained out and the final was postponed one day because of a club conflict and the possibility of more thunderstorms -- which did not materialize on a warm, mostly sunny day.
Note: Recap provided by the Maryland State Golf Association
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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