Dugan McCabe, from Bethesda and Bethesda Country Club, one-putted for wins on each of the first three holes of the back nine at Woodmont Country Club’s North Course, and that was enough to send him into the lead for good, as he defeated Austin Steckler, from Glen Arm, and Baltimore CC, 3 and 1, for the 16-18 championship of the 59th Bobby Gorin Memorial tournament, July 26.
“I thought I was going to birdie every hole after that,” said McCabe, 17, a Walt Whitman High School senior, following his victory.
Actually, he had no more birdies, and Steckler’s only one got him within 1-down, but McCabe came right back with a winning par at the 14th and it ended on the 17th with Steckler’s second concession of the back nine.
The loser pointed out he had a pretty good front nine, and a winning par got him to the turn 1 up.
The game was all McCabe’s after that.
He hit every fairway on the back side and complemented that at the other end with 10 putts (counting concessions) for eight holes. Overall, he had 26 putts and finished 1-under, while Steckler had 32 putts and ended 1-over.
In a curious set of circumstances, the two semifinals matched two teammates and two clubmates. In an all-Bethesda CC pairing, McCabe beat Joseph C. Hemsley, the qualifying leader, 2 and 1, while Steckler turned back Michael Crowley, 4 and 3. Steckler, 18 and a senior, and Crowley, 16 and a junior, are Calvert Hall students and both were top-10 finishers in the Frank Emmet Schoolboy tournament last month.
The 14-15 final was a study in physical contrasts as the 6-foot-3 Reece Tydings, from Catonsville, met the 5-foot-7 Jake Roth, from Rockville Tydings, a 15-year-old Mount St. Joseph High School senior who plays from Turf Valley CC, never led through 14 holes, but he won 15 and 16 with pars and they halved 17 for a 2-and-1 decision.
“The best part of my game was hitting my wedge shots close and having a solid putting effort,” Tydings said, while Roth, who plays from Lakewood CC, could only say, “Front nine, good; back nine, not good.”
In the 13-Under grouping, Joe Johnson, from Leesburg, Va., defeated Matt Duke, from Midlothian, Va., 1 up.
The four-day event was conducted by the Washington Metropolitan Golf Association.