Walter Johnson golf defeats Wootton in playoff -- Gazette.Net


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Evan Shapiro thought he was finished playing golf for the day. He lounged in a cart, feet kicked up, soda in hand, and watched as the remaining players competing in the District 2 golf tournament turned in their cards.

But 20 minutes after Shapiro signed for his 75, Walter Johnson High School coach Richard Payne pointed at him and told him to get his clubs.

This one wasn't over yet.

Shapiro and teammates Michael Gilman (79), Noah Moss (74) and Jordan Bobb (84) combined for a 312, just as Thomas S. Wootton's Allison Wong (76), Graysen Bright (84) Delaney Shah (79) and Justin Feldman (73) did, leaving the two teams tied for first.

So the eight players slung their clubs back onto their shoulders and trudged out onto the 10th hole where the Wildcats would win the playoff by four strokes.

“I stress to try to save every stroke so I think that it's paid off and it's showing each round we have,” Payne said. “It seems to show that the kids are fighting for every shot they can save.”

They needed every shot they could save during the regular season, too. The Wildcats finished in a three-way tie with Wootton and incumbent champion Walt Whitman and came away on top of that tiebreaker as well.

“It would have been nice [to win],” Wootton coach Paul Williams said. “I'm a little sick of the tying situation but, again, it's a far cry from where we were last year so I'm just happy to be in states as a team.”

Shah was particularly disappointed with her finish. The freshman rolled in five birdies and an eagle to shoot a 68 in a practice round on Thursday but the putts weren't dropping on Monday.

“She was a little off today. She put one in the pond on eight which I think threw her off a little bit,” Williams said. “I thought she would at least shoot in the mid-70s here but hey, it was good enough to get into the states.”

Walter Johnson has never made the cut for the state finals and both Payne and Shapiro believe this to be the Wildcats first ever district tournament title.

“I can't remember us winning it before,” said Shapiro, who finished the regular season with the second lowest scoring average. “So it was really exciting and I was really happy when we won.”

Wootton has not made the state finals since it last took the Maryland crown in 1997.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase's Nathan Tenpas, the regular season individual champion, had an even-par 71 to take low medalist honors. No Baron has ever won the state championship as an individual, and B-CC will be hard-pressed to take it as a team seeing as it qualified for the tournament by hitting the exact number (332) it needed to.

Montgomery County will have eight representatives in the state tournament on Oct. 23-24 at the University of Maryland, College Park golf course. Seven teams made the cut on Monday and Poolesville received an automatic berth despite shooting a 341, nine strokes above the cut, because it is the only 1A/2A school in district 2.

Twenty four individuals shot 83 or below, which also earned them a trip to Maryland in a few weeks, but all but five will be representing their teams. Victor Adamson (Blair), Nick Shealy (Damascus), Pat Moriarty (Rockville), Jun Ahn (Quince Orchard) and Peter Galvin (Gaithersburg) will be competing as individuals.

tmewhirter@gazette.net

Montgomery County District Golf Tournament results

Top team finishers — Walter Johnson 312; Wootton 312; Quince Orchard 317; Walt Whitman 319; Churchill 320; Northwest 324; B-CC 332; Poolesville 341.

Top individual finishers—Nathan Tenpas 71; Victor Adamson 73; Justin Feldman 73; Noah Moss 74; Evan Shapiro 75; Allison Wong 76; Michael Brinkman 76; Joey Burkinshaw 77; Zach Satin 78; Andrew Barth 78; Colton Christenson 78; Sam Pastoriza 78; Luke Schaap 79; Delaney Shah 79; Michael Bushman 79; Michael Gilman 79; Brian Norwitz 80; Jared Swick 80; Ryan Leavy 80; Danny Miles 80; Pat Moriarty 81; EJ Dillion 81; Craig Morton 83; Jun Ahn 83; Peter Galvin 83; Joe Davis 83.