Each year the Middle Atlantic, PGA welcomes three interns to the Section to build experience in the golf industry. These talented individuals work hard throughout the summer helping our Professionals and Junior Golf Members with tournaments, events and office administration. It is our pleasure to introduce this year’s class. We expect great things.
My name is Maddison Lewis and I am a recent graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I earned my Bachelor of Science in Recreation Sport and Tourism, with a concentration in Sports Management. Before college, I grew up in a small farm town in Southern Illinois with my parents and two younger siblings. While here, I plan to build long-lasting relationships and continue my vast network in the business. I am eager to grow my knowledge of the game of golf while learning from some of the top professionals in the industry. Through their guidance, they will help me better my skills so I can continue to follow my passion within the golf community.
My name is Marcus Narcisse and I am a senior at East Stroudsburg University majoring in Rehab services. I’m from a small town called Orange, NJ. I’m very proud of where I’m from. The city may not be glamorous but has definitely prepared me for the tough mental grind that I’ve had to face in my life. Being from such a small town I never thought I’d amount to much, but I have since proved that wrong. What I look to accomplish during this internship is to be able to connect with the junior golf community and be able to learn everything I can. My dream is to work with the PGA and Special Olympics to be able to continue to advocate for kids with disabilities. I have a passion for golf and working for the Middle Atlantic, PGA, can’t get any sweeter.
My name is Bradley Harrison and I am a Senior at James Madison University studying Sports and Recreation Management. I have lived in Virginia for 12 years now, however, I still consider Northeast Ohio to be my home as its where I was raised and first introduced to golf. Through my junior golf internship with the Middle Atlantic PGA, I hope to gain practical hands-on experience with tournament operations in addition to valuable insights into my special interest of sports (particularly golf) media content creation and marketing. I have a passion for golf and I am excited to work hard this summer with the MAPGA to provide an enriching experience for our junior golfers.
Our junior golfers made sure to turn on the heat at the 4th Annual Cherry Blossom Classic as stiff competition left everyone wondering who would walk away as this year’s champions.
More than 90 golfers gathered at University of Maryland Golf Course (UMDGC) in College Park, Maryland with hopes of qualifying for some of the most sought after Invitationals in the Capitol Area.
Over the course of the two days many of the junior golfers learned that at UMDGC there was just as much risk as there was reward on the golf course.
The Championship and Patriot Division event was a two-day event filled with much excitement. After two-days here are our 2019 champions:
Boys Championship Division – Bach Ngo
Girls Championship Division – Emma Chen
Boys 15-18 Patriot Division – James Thomas IV
Boys 14&Under Patriot Division – Benjamin Newfield
Girls 14&Under Patriot Division – Amelia Cho
NGO DOUBT ABOUT IT, WHAT A COME BACH?
It was an absolute comeback story for Bach Ngo of Frederick, Maryland as he fought his way back from a more than five-stroke deficit (76-70–146) to take the 2019 Cherry Blossom Boys Championship Division title. Ngo also received the single round lowest score and was the only competitor to break par in a single round.
After the first day of competition concluded, Cockeysville, Maryland local, Joe Stover carded an opening round even-par to lead the field into the final day.
According to Stover, he really knuckled down during the last day to place himself in Top 3 contention. Stover was 4-over-par through 12 holes. His amazing push for first began on hole 13 in which he had made one birdie, then a string of birdies on holes 15-18.
However, Stovers ability to find birdies did not carry over into the next day. As Stover began to fall back, noticeably struggling to convert pars throughout his round, Ngo, a few groups in front of Stover was able to turn five birdies over four bogies into a 1-under-par final round finish to take the lead and ultimately win the championship. Stover finished tied for third (71-77–148) but lost the playoff due to his final round front nine score.
“This win definitely boosted my confidence,” Ngo said. “Up until this tournament, I hadn’t really been playing too well. But to come back and win it only makes me feel better.”
He attributed smart play and a hot putter to much of his success during his final round. He said with each bogey he knew he had to recover and make a birdie.
Ngo thanked his family for the support that they showed during the round, his fellow golfers for a fun event and UMDGC for hosting a great event.
CHEN WINS OVER HACKETT IN EMOTIONAL PLAYOFF
In an epic playoff finish for the ages, Emma Chen (Rockville, Md.) won the Girls Championship Division over Sydney Hackett (Ashburn, Va.) with a clutch 15-foot putt that had Hackett and all those spectating on their toes.
Both Girls had landed their drives off the 10th tee side-by-side. However, where Hackett had landed both of her approach shots short, Chen had caught her approach thin and chipped her ball 15 feet past the hole.
The hole would ultimately come down to one putt difference. Hackett came up short of the hole while, while Chen’s putt lipped around the cup twice before falling in.
“My heart literally leapt out of my chest with that putt,” Chen said. “I didn’t think it was going to drop.”
Chen was very happy to receive her first win of the season. She even more excited to receive so many exemptions into some of the MAPGA’s best junior golf invitationals.
“I played a bit more conservative my final round,” Chen said. “I made a lot of mistakes my first day that I made sure to learn from going into the final day.”
Coming in second was Sue Lee of Lorton, Virginia. After the opening round of the Girls Championship Division, the scores were very close and Lee led the field by three strokes with a 1-over-par 72.
Lee like most the field at UMDGC learned how to recover as she made three birdies against four bogies her first day. However, Hackett who won the annual Spring Fling at Bull Run Golf Club earlier this season was in close second trailing Lee by one stroke.
Throughout Hackett’s round, she struggled to keep the bogies away carding just as many birdies as bogies. Chen also struggled to keep the bogies away her first day carding a 4-over-par. Chen ended her first round with an emotional double-bogey on the 18th which placed her in a three-way tie for third place going into the final day.
However, Chen was able to maintain her composure during the final day making three birdies against four bogies.
Lee struggled to convert pars during the front nine of her final round. Lee carded six bogies in her front nine against one birdie to quickly fall out of the lead (72-76–148).
Meanwhile, Hackett remained consistent scoring a 74 (3-over-par) to finish 5-over-par (73-74–147) to go into a playoff against Chen (75-72–147).
PATRIOT DIVISION BOYS NEWFIELD/ THOMAS WIN SOLO LEAD UNCONTESTED
Although the field was small for the Boys 15-18 Patriot Division James Thomas IV (Fairfax, Va.) came to play carding a 5-over-par, 76 during his opening round and leading the field by more than 20 strokes.
During the final round Thomas experienced a little difficulty matching his opening round performance as he posted a 13-over-par during his final round.
According to Thomas, he knew he opened strong, with conservative tee shots off the tee. However, he switched to more of an aggressive approach during his final round trying to match his scores from the day earlier.
“I struggled to find the fairway during the final day and that hurt me in the long run,” Thomas said. “My putting didn’t help either.”
He was relived that he played conservative the first day and said this tournament. He thanked his parent and his coach for helping him earn this win. Thomas looks forward to future events with the Tour and hopes continue strong throughout the season.
Benjamin Newfield has had much success on the MAPGA Junior Tour stage since starting in 2015. Since his start he has placed Top 3 in more than 20 events and has won more than half of his starts.
This win is a welcome addition to his resume as it is his 3rd first place finish since joining the 18 hole tours. Newfield led his age division in birdies, carding six in his opening round and two more in his final round.
He opened the first day with an even-par (71), joining only four other golfers out of a field of 90 to shoot par or better over the course of the two day event. He finished with a tournament total of 3-over-par (71-74–145).
“I just put myself in position off the tee to give myself a chance at par or better,” Newfield said. “During my opening round I was able to knock down a lot of putts and that helped my score.”
Newfield won over Bennett Espenshade by one-stroke (74-71–145) as Espenshade fired back at Newfield with even-par of his own during his final round.
Espenshade struggled his first day to convert pars his first day but played much more conservative off the tee the second day. He finished his final round with two birdies against two bogies to come just shy of a playoff against Newfield.
In the Girls Patriot 14 & Under Division, Amelia Cho (Ashburn, Va.) posted a two-day total 10-over-par (79-73–152) to win her division and she couldn’t be happier. A part from getting to spend two days on the golf course with her friends, she also won her first MAPGA Junior Tour Event. And in spectacular fashion, we might add.
Cho appeared to have been feeling out the course the first day as she carded an 8-over-par her first day. However, it was her final round where she truly shined. She opened her final round with a 3-over par on the front and then proceeded to have a bogey-free back nine with one birdie on the back nine.
She was behind by one stroke after the first day but truly turned up the heat on her competition with a 2-over-par final round finish.
“I wasn’t really worrying about my score or how my friends were playing,” Cho said. “I was just out on the course having fun.”
Cho shows us all golf can be fun and competitive. Congratulation on your win!
Becca DiNunzio of Norfolk, Virginia took home the
LPGA Pure Silk Championship Junior Invitational title and earned a bid into the
LPGA championship’s Monday Qualifier.
She carded a
tournament total 4-under-par to win the event. DiNunzio fired a first-round
67(-4) and an even-par (front nine) final round. However, DiNunzio’s win did
not come uncontested. She said it was nice to have a win so close to home and
she is excited to bring the trophy back to all those who were rooting for her
back in Norfolk.
After DiNunzio captured a commanding lead over her
competition the first day, she left a lot of work for the rest of the field to
do with only nine holes to make it happen.
DiNunzio by three strokes after the opening round was Clemson University commit
and Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina native Katherine Schuster. She opened the
final round with a birdie to put pressure on DiNunzio. By Hole No. 8 Schuster
had tied the lead with two holes left to play.
[Schuster] coming out on fire, I had to stay as steady as possible especially
knowing I was running out of time and there were difficult holes coming up”
According to DiNunzio, the pins
were placed in very difficult positions. “My goal wasn’t any different than the
day before—just hit fairways and greens,” she said. “My strategy was to put
every shot in the middle of the green to make sure she wouldn’t throw any of
her shots away.”
enough DiNunzio continued to par her way to victory. However, as the pressure
rose for Schuster, the eighth proved to be a challenge after she hit her first
approach shot heavy and short of the green then followed with a third shot over
the green. Schuster would ultimately double-bogey eight and leave DiNunzio with
a two stroke lead going into the final hole.
the first to hit off the fairway placing her ball in the middle of the green
for a chance to two putt and make nine straight pars on the final day. Schuster
in a last ditch effort to force a playoff hit her second shot pin high. As the
ball landed and checked on the green it spun back within inches of the hole.
Schuster would putt out for birdie while DiNunzio two putted for par and the
of Centerville, Virginia rounded out the Top 3 with an exciting comeback, after
an opening round 74 (+3). She was able to finish even-par during the final
round to secure solo third.
As stated DiNunzio will face-off against LPGA
professional golfers at the Monday Qualifier of the LPGA Pure Silk
Championship, Monday, May 20th. She is the top-ranked girl’s golfer in Virginia
for the Class of 2019 and has recently committed to attend Virginia Tech.
“I am really
looking forward to playing with the women in the Monday Qualifier,” DiNunzio
said. “It is really an honor to earn a spot in the qualifier and I’m going to
try and learn as much as I can.”
Director of Golf at Kingsmill Resort and LPGA
PureSilk Championship Tournament Director, Matthew Schulze, PGA, was excited to
have a local girl win the event. “It makes it all the more special,” he said.
“I think if we continue to try and build the junior
invitational we can make it one of the best girls golf tournaments in the area,”
said Schulze. “Anytime we can give back to the junior golfers and help them
play at the collegiate or professional level is very important and very
The Middle Atlantic PGA would like to thank all the girls who came out to play in the event and would also like to thank Kingsmill Resort for hosting us so close to the LPGA Pure Silk Championship. Good luck during the qualifier Becca! We are rooting for you.
It is true what they say: “No winter lasts forever and no spring skips its turn!” The Middle Atlantic PGA kicked-off their first official junior golf tournament of the season in a grand-fashion, with the annual Spring Fling event at Bull Run Golf Club in Haymarket, Virginia.
As the juniors said hello to Spring; Spring welcomed them back with open arms. And the juniors expected nothing less from the season of sunshine, rainfall and flowers blooming. All the juniors ultimately pushed through all of what Spring had to throw at their way.
BOYS CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION
The first round for the Boy’s Championship Division proved to be filled with excitement as six golfers scored under par. This included 2019 Champion Ronnie Kim, who carded a 1-under-par (71) during the opening rounds. Kim played very conservative throughout the event, birdieing three holes against two bogies his first day and then four birdies against one bogey the second.
The 14-year-old from Olney, Md., finished the first day four strokes off day one leader and single round low scorer Josh Duangmanee (Fairfax, Va.) who carded a 5-under-par (67).
“I just tried to go as low as possible during the first round because I knew it was going to rain the next day,” Duangmanee said. “5-under is my lowest round ever and that is exciting coming into the season.
“I JUST TRIED TO GO AS LOW AS POSSIBLE[…] 5-UNDER IS MY LOWEST ROUND”
According to Kim he wasn’t thinking about winning, but about what he does best, “focus on his game” and Duangmanee was just trying to shoot as close to par as possible.
This was apparent as Kim and Duangmanee were both in the final grouping of the day. As Duangmanee slowly fell back from his day-one lead, carding a double-bogey on the first hole and another devastating double-bogey on the Ninth Hole, after receiving a penalty for playing a wrong ball, Kim remained focused.
Kim turned in his final round scorecard at 3-under-par, to finish the tournament at 4-under-par (71-69—140), while Duangmanee turned in his, finishing with a tournament total 1-under par (67-76—143).
There was no rest for, 14-year-old, Sydney Hackett (Ashburn, Va) during the off-season. She kept solo lead during this year’s Spring Fling carding back-to-back 1-under-par, 71’s, beating here opponents by more than seven strokes.
“I put in a lot of work during the off season,” Hackett said. “I practiced a lot of short game from 60 yards and also worked on my putting.”
Recovery, was certainly the word of the day for Hackett as she carded four birdies and three bogies her first day. Then her second day she made six birdies alongside three bogies and a double-bogey.
When asked about the focus she displayed on the course, Hackett said, “I took each day hole-by-hole and shot-by-shot.” She was the only girl golfer to break par during the event.
“I TOOK EACH DAY HOLE-BY-HOLE & SHOT-BY-SHOT”
While this win gave her a lot of confidence, she said she is just happy to be back on the course playing the game with all of her friends. There was a three-way tie for second place.
However MAPGA rules stipulate, tie by runner-ups will be settled by first round lowest scores.
Another golfer who made a huge splash during the MAPGA Junior Tour season opener was 14-year-old, Preston Worch of Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Worch led the field the entire event and opened the first day with a 4-under-par (68).
He grinned through the first day after a double-bogey start on the first two holes, making five birdies and two eagles against one bogey on his back nine.
During his first day he holed out from 101 yards to make an eagle. This was his first. He led the field by more than seven strokes coming into the second day of competition.
“ALL I COULD THINK WAS SCORE LOW AND KEEP MAKING BIRDIES”
“It was awesome to have a seven stroke lead, it was an incredible experience,” Worch said. “All I could think of was score low and keep making birdies.”
During the second day Worch struggled a little bit to maintain the momentum he set forth the first day.
Grinding once again the second day he was able to hold onto his lead after nine holes with 2-over-par finish to complete the tournament with a two-day total 2-under-par (68-38—106).
He thanked his parents for taking him an hour away to play one of the best rounds of his young career.
Kanchana Duangsam may be small, but she surely packs a punch on the golf course. With a lot of spirit Duangsam took the course the first carding a 2-over-par, 74. She made four birdies against six bogies.
Learning from her past shot she turned it around and made three bogies and made even par the rest (74-39–113).
“KEEP CALM, FORGET ABOUT THE BAD SHOTS AND FOCUS ON THE NEXT ONE”
“My thoughts were to keep calm, forget about the bad shots and focus on the next one,” she said. “But, most importantly have fun.”
She thanked her coach for teaching her to swing, her parents for supporting her and her fellow golfers for a fun tournament.
It was a small field, but tight competition for the Boys 15-18 Patriot Division. The foursome had some close competition between Joe Stover (Cockeysville, Md.) and Benjamin Siriboury (Clarksville, Md.). Siriboury held the lead coming into the second day after carding a 3-over-par (75) his first day.
Stover came back the second day with a reckoning after he struggled hitting greens and putting during the first round. Coming into the second day he was three strokes off the lead.
“I learned from the first day and pushed myself to recover,” Stover said. “As result I started to hit greens and save par.”
Stover was able to finish the final day at even par for a tournament total, 6-over-par (78-72—150). The second day he made four birdies against, four bogies.
“THIS WIN IS THE BEGINNING TO A GREAT SEASON”
This was his first tournament with the Junior Tour and he says he is looking forward to many more.
“This win is the beginning to a great season,” Stover said. “And I’m looking forward to warmer weather and low scores.”
More than 160 Middle and High School golfers from around the
Middle Atlantic area attended the 9th Annual MAPGA College Golf Seminar
presented by Second Nine Consulting, Saturday, February 2 at Congressional
Country Club in Bethesda, Md.
This year the seminar was broken up into three breakout
session with expert panelist consisting of college golf coaches and industry
professionals who offered insight regarding college recruitment, finding the
right school, financing tuition costs and the life and expectations of a
“In its ninth year,
the MAPGA College Golf Seminar has grown into a great resource for young
golfers and their families,” Will Martindale, Junior Golf Director said. “Our
goal every year at this event is for juniors and parents to walk away from it
with a better understanding of where they are, what they need to do next to
best prepare themselves, and what college golf experience will be best for
According to Martindale, the day proved to be a huge success
because of the commitment and care shown by the expert panelist.
Second Nine Consulting Representatives Rich Brazeau and Brian Watts gave insight to junior golfers about the importance of their continued education and what it means to be a college golfer. They started with the importance of what it means to gain a coaches trust by upholding their character and demeanor.
“It all starts with how you conduct yourself at home and at
school,” Brazeau said. “Do you respect your parents? The relationship between you
and your parent through adversity is what makes a junior golfer stand out to
golf coaches. Also, having a mindset for success inside the classroom is
contingent to great athletic performance in and outside the classroom.”
Brazeau emphasized to juniors how academics and the ability
to learn can be used as a stepping stool to help with college opportunities and
scholarships. He states, “Academics matter; your athletic ability will help you
get recruited for college, but your academic skills are what gets you accepted
As MAPGA Member Billy Dillon and Director of University of
Maryland Eastern Shore’s PGM Program added,” The best way to get in school for
free—is by being a good student.”
Virginia Tech Head Men’s Golf Coach, Jay Hardwick, PGA also
emphasized the importance of reputation.
He said, just as we all are a reflection of the logos we
wear, we all have an important logo to uphold and those are our reputations. “You
will carry around your reputation for the rest of your life,” Hardwicks said.
According to Watts, it is important that the juniors understand
that their opportunity is different from the juniors’ sitting next to them.
“Don’t limit yourself when communicating with coaches; cast
your net and expose yourself to different junior golfers and tournaments that are
right for your choice of school,” Watts said.
Marc Thayer of Virginia Junior Golf Scoreboard also spoke
with the students about finding the right fit when it comes to searching for
college golf programs and gave a list of questions they need to ask themselves before
reaching out to coaches.
What do you shoot?
What programs/organizations do you play in?
Are you going to camps/networking with coaches?
What do your academics look like?
How far do you want to live from home?
Can you afford the tuition?
What does the university’s roster look like?
What do they shoot?
Watts added it is vital for juniors to be both assertive and
respectful when seeking a coaches time and attention.
Note: Golfers may not schedule an official or unofficial
visit with a golf coach until September 1, of their junior year.
According to Thayer, the college golf recruiting process is
highly competitive and if the student does not know their range it will be extremely
difficult for the student to compete in college. Many of the speakers admitted their
universities have competitive acceptance rates.
This is especially true for Division I and II schools. And
Division III schools often do not have athletic scholarships.
Thayer quoted, of the top 46 percent of colleges many of their golf rosters are filled with international players.
High School Junior and MAPGA Junior Golfer, Branden Nguyen
came into the seminar knowing how competitive the recruitment process is. He learned
that only the top 50-100 junior golfers around the world will receive full
rides to a university.
However, these numbers did not phase his dedication to work
towards competing in college.
“I got keep grinding and working hard,” Nguyen said.
MAPGA Member and Towson Men’s Golf Coach, Mike Larkin said,
coaches can be looking at anywhere between 8-10 golfers at a time, just to fill
three spots. “Be selfish, be productive and keep reaching out to these coaches,”
Larkin said. “Show them that you care.”
Shannon Briggs, Head Women’s Coach at Longwood said, if a
player cannot show they can recover or maintain their composure coaches often
will move on to the next potential recruit.
However proving you can play, maintain your character and
keep up with your academics is half the battle; financing college is still the
most crucial part of college recruiting. It is a reality that many students
will not receive a full ride scholarship to play golf so finding other
alternatives can be beneficial.
Towson financial aid officer, Terry Porter guided many
students through the intricacies of obtaining military, athletic and
non-academic scholarships. As well as, gave a detailed breakdown of financial
aid awards to help juniors understand the types of scholarships and the amount
offered per team.
“It will surprise you how many people and organizations are
offering scholarships,” Porter said “Sometimes you will be the only one applying”$50
or $1,000 it all adds up.”
Porter said, “it is as simple as going on Google.”
He also encouraged students to seek advice from their high
school resources counselor in making sure they understand the guidelines,
expectations, and level of presentation needed when resumes are reviewed by
University Admissions teams.
Congressional Country Club also proved to be an accommodating
host for the event once again.
Congressional Junior Golf Director, Stacy Miller-Arndt, PGA,
said she was happy her facility could host another successful seminar.
“The Seminar is always a great day of learning and continues
to open everyone’s eyes about the recruiting process.” she said. “Every year
the college golf seminar has taught me something to help our juniors navigate
the recruiting process. This seminar is a must for all golf professionals.”
While some junior golfers may go on to play college golf and others may go on to simply pursue higher academic learning, one thing is assured, the impact these coaches made on the students will last a lifetime.
Fall is surely upon us as the Kingsmill Championship Junior Invitational proved to be an exciting tournament, November 3 – 4 on the River Course, as the young competitors faired against high winds and close competition. Despite the circumstance, Ben Kruper (Woodbridge, Va) and Tatum Walsh (Midlothian, Va) toughed it out and played great golf, coming out on top.
Kruper carded a two-day total 4-over-par (76-70–146), making six birdies throughout the weekend, four of which were during the last nine holes of his final round. This string of birdies just placed Kruper at the leaderboard as runner-up Brad Riley (Sandy Spring, Md) finished two strokes behind Kruper.
Kruper said during the second round he had a rough time trying to save par on the front nine, but on the back nine he began to “drain” some crucial 8-footers to place him at the top of the leaderboard, finishing the second round 1-under-par.
Walsh was tied for first after the opening round of the invitational with Elizabeth Coffren (Owings, Md) at 4-over-par (75). Both of these ladies had more than a three-stroke lead coming into the final day of competition. However, while the majority of the field struggled to convert pars and birdies, Walsh made four birdies against three bogies and a double-bogey to finish the second day 1-over-par (72) for a two-day total 147.
According to Walsh, those birdies didn’t come easy.
“I really just thinking to stay calm, because I really was nervous standing over a few putts,” she said. “But, opening with those birdies really helped my momentum.”
Walsh hopes to continue this momentum through the rest of the season.
Congrats to our winners and Special thanks to PGA Professional Loren White and Kingsmill Resort for hosting. See you next year! Click the button below for the results!
SILVER SPRING, MD — It was a game of consistency during the final day of the 2nd Annual Denny McCarthy Junior Invitational at Argyle Country Club in the Girls’ Overall Division and at the end of the day 16-year-old Danielle Suh (Herndon, Va.) posed next to Denny McCarthy with the invitational trophy.
Suh carded 3-over-par (75), making two birdies against five bogies the first day and finished the final day in a similar fashion, 4-over-par (76) for a two-day total 144. During the final day, Suh made four birdies against eight bogies.
According to Suh she knew the tournament was close, but she focused on playing her game and let the rest of field play theirs.
She attributed a great short game to her success during the tournament and the loving support of her family keeping her motivated throughout the day.
Trailing Suh in second place was 15-year-old, Hannah Hankim from Potomac, Maryland who stayed fairly consistent with a first and second round 5-over-par, 77 to finish with a two-day total of 154.
SILVER SPRING, MD — The final day of the 2nd Annual Denny McCarthy Junior Invitational, proved to be an exciting event at Argyle Country Club—all the way down to Boys Overall Defending Champion 17-year-old, Lou Baker’s (Timonium, Md.) last putt—dropping a four-foot birdie to solidify his back-to-back win. Baker finished 1-over-par (71-72-143) to win the tournament.
Baker was in the last group of the day and knew he had to make the putt to prevent a playoff against runner-up, 14-year-old, Matthew Monastero (Leesburg, Va.) who was tied for fourth (3-over-par) coming into the final day. Monastero carded a final round 1-under-par (74-70-144).
“Standing over the ball with the gallery at my back—I was nervous and my hands were shaking—but I knew I had to make the putt,” Baker said. “I had a similar putt on Hole. No 17 where I ran my birdie putt by the hole and had to putt for par—I wasn’t going to miss it again.”
He said that was the first time he had to make a putt to solidify a win, let alone a back-to-back win. But, where Baker said he made the putt to win the tournament, he didn’t play like that all day. Similar to the day prior he made five bogies against four birdies.
During the first day, Baker was the only competitor to card even-par (71), making four birdies against four bogies. But his lead was still marginal coming into the last day as he led the majority of the field by no more than three strokes.
According to Baker, he had gotten behind early the final day as he made three bogies against two birdies on the Front Nine. The streak continued throughout the Back Nine with a bogey as a result of a lost ball on Hole No. 10 and bogey on Par 5, Hole No. 12.
Baker said he came into the day playing aggressive, trying to go for all of the Par 5s.
This was indicative of his final round match-up against17-year-old, Austin Barbin from Elkton, Md., and 13-year-old, Bryan Kim from Brookeville, Md., who trailed Baker by two strokes coming into the final day.
Baker said, he grew up playing with Barbin, who was a childhood friend and he knew Barbin wasn’t going to make it easy on him. On top of that Kim proved to be unrelenting with his short-game. Barbin placed third carding 3-over-par (73-72-145) and Kim tied for fourth (73-74-147).
At the end of the day as the light began to fade from the sky and the air grew chilly, it was Baker who posed next to 2018 Web.com Tour Champion Denny McCarthy with the invitational trophy.
Baker showed gratitude towards the McCarthy family saying what outstanding work they do helping to grow junior golf.
The invitational is the namesake tournament of 2018 Web.com Tour Champion and MAPGA Junior Tour Alumnus, Denny McCarthy (Takoma Park, Maryland).
The field consists of the Top 60 Boys and Girls from Maryland and Virginia:
Top 10 Boys Class of 2019 — Top 5 Girls Class of 2019
Top 10 Boys Class of 2020 — Top 5 Girls Class of 2020
Top 10 Boys Class of 2021 — Top 5 Girls Class of 2021