After more than eight hours of being at the University of Maryland, College Park golf course, Demarkis Cooper just wasn’t in the mood to play one more minute of golf. But he still had to make one more shot in order to get off the course and safely into the clubhouse with a cut-making score at the state championships on Monday. His mental game, however, was having none of it.
So with his concentration completely depleted and hungry as can be, Cooper mailed it in, scraping the ball around for a triple bogey to finish the day. Little did he care, he was just happy to be off the course, grab a bite to eat, and still be six shots under the cut of 84.
“I could have taken a nap somewhere in there,” the Oxon Hill High School senior said of the long waits on every tee box. “There was five groups on one hole.”
Cooper’s 78 was the highlight of Prince George’s County during the opening day of the state championships. He will be joined on Wednesday for the finals by Eleanor Roosevelt’s Andrew Hung (84) and Bryan Morris (79). The Raiders missed the team cut of 334 by just two shots.
“Well, I’m not thrilled,” Morris said. “But it is what it is. It is nice to come back. I’m looking forward to it. I think I can come back and make a decent run at it.”
Even though the triple bogey left a sour taste on Cooper’s round, it still doesn’t take away from the senior assembling the best nine-hole score in his tournament career. He used birdies on 13, 15 and 16 compared to just one bogey on the back side to finish with a 33 after struggling to a 9-over par front.
“That’s probably my best nine-hole score, period,” said Cooper, who had a 10-foot look at eagle on No. 13. “I had a birdie then I made a par and then I had two more tap-in birdies.”
The fact that Cooper had any tap-in birdies at all is a feat in itself. Players struggled all day with sticking anything close to the hole on the firm greens and tough pin placements. Most said that their birdies either came on par-5s when they hit the green in two shots or from fairly long-distanced putts.
“It was horrible. You couldn’t spin a wedge,” Cooper said. “You couldn’t spin a 60-degree. You could probably come out here with a 70-degree and still not spin it. Nothing would do it.”
Cooper’s teammate, Morgan Miner, didn’t have much issue hitting the greens. Her problems began once she got onto them.
“That was my focus — get on in regulation,” said Miner, who shot 96 to miss the girls’ individual cut of 87. “I was on in regulation, couldn’t save par. The greens were very difficult. It would be fast on one side, slow on the other side, and then I’d be like ‘It’s a flat plane, it’s got to be fast.’ And then it wouldn’t.”
Still, Miner was the low girl in Prince George’s on the day, topping Bowie’s Sumayah Arcusa (97) and Marianne DelaCuesta (105).
“It was an experience,” Miner said. “It was an up-and-down season. I had my ups and my downs. I could say I made it freshman year.”