Lightning flashes streaked across the mid-afternoon sky and the rain was right behind, all of which seemed natural, as the 59th Gorin Memorial Junior tournament finally ran its course at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., July 27. It was close, though, as the horn suspending all play because of adverse weather conditions sounded about five minutes after Connor McGarrity had closed out Ethan Chelf, 4 and 2, for the 14-15 championship.
For the second straight year, the weather was a factor, as the opening round of stroke play Tuesday was canceled by rain. Trying to get one stroke round in, the younger groups completed their qualifying Wednesday, but more rain forced a late afternoon postponement, forcing the 16-18 group to return Thursday to complete its first round. Then, since trying to schedule match play presented too many problems, their event was changed to 36 holes of stroke play and all completed the second round later that day.
Last year, rain forced postponement of the final match in both the 16-18 and 14-15 divsions and they were played at a later date.
McGarrity, 15, a Gonzaga College High School sophomore, was never behind in his final, as putting problems by Chelf helped send him 3-down after five holes. When Chelf birdied the dogleg seventh, set up by a tee shot that cut the corner, and McGarrity ran in a 15-foot putt for birdie at the eighth, the margin was back to three.
Chelf, 15, a Wootten High School sophomore and Lakewood CC member, made two putts — nine feet at 11 and 13 feet at 14 — that he absolutely had to make to stay in the hunt, as his opponent was sending out pars as though they came from a copy machine. In each instance, Chelf got within two, but each time McGarrity responded with winning pars. He also got one at 16 to end it, after Chelf had a tough greenside bunker shot that hit the flag stick and ricocheted back 20 feet, from where he two-putted.
“This is a tough golf course [the North] and it’s hard to make birdies,” said McGarrity, who plays from Kenwood G&CC. “I was just concentrating on pars.” No doubt about that — he finished with a birdie and 15 pars.
Last month. McGarrity tied for second in the 14-15 division of the Maryland State Juniors.
In the morning semi-finals, McGarrity turned 1 up against Corey Minkoff, from Gaithersburg, Md., a finalist in last year’s 13-under division, and the leader applied the pressure down the stretch, winning 14-15-16 with par-par-birdie for a 4-and-3 triumph. Against Ryan Feldman, Chelf went 3-down after four holes, turned even. then birdied two of the first three holes on the back nine to go 2-up. Feldman got within one at 16, and they halved 17 with birdies and 18 with pars.
Bryan Kim, from Brookeville, Md., won the 13-under crown, going ahead for the first time with a par at 16, then holding off Alexander Maloy, Potomac, Md., for a 1-up victory. Never more than 2-down, Kim rallied on the back nine, going level with pars at 14-15 before gaining an edge when Maloy drove into a bunker at the par-3 16th, then failed to save par after a tough bunker shot.
Updated Bracket – 13 and Under & 14 – 15 ⇒ HERE
Final Result – Stroke Play – 16 – 18 Age Division ⇒ HERE
Past Winners of the Bobby Gorin ⇒ HERE