During the slightly condensed latest edition of the Southern Maryland Amateur Golf Championships at Breton Bay Golf & Country Club July 31 to Aug. 2, players from across the region battled one another and the elements for two rounds rather than three.
Local product Kyle Carranzo, a 2007 Great Mills High School graduate and 2009 College of Southern Maryland graduate, overcame a six-stroke deficit after the July 31 opening round to fire a 65 on August 2 to finish four strokes clear of Mark Cusic (65-75-140) and Cas Dickerson (67-73-140) to claim his first title in this event.
"I really struggled in the first round on Friday," said Carranzo, who played in the professional Mini-Tours the previous decade. "I was above par most of that round and I was fought back to get one-under. So on Sunday I played with a lot more confidence and basically just cut out the mistakes. That was basically the key to my round on Sunday, eliminating the mental and physical mistakes."
Lexington Park resident Bill Jenner finished tied for fifth overall (73-69-142) but he edged Pete Detemple by one stroke to garner the Senior Title, with Tommy Jameson another shot back. Jenner and Detemple were tied heading to the 18th tee, but Jenner made par on the final hole while Detemple settled for a bogey.
"That second day was close all the way to the end," said Jenner, who is retired from the Navy. "I was up a few strokes then I double bogeyed No. 16. I was one back going to No. 17, but I made par there and Pete bogeyed that hole. We were tied going to No. 18, but I made par there and Pete bogeyed again. But it was great competition. I enjoyed playing in that tournament."
Joseph Graham Jr., an Accokeek resident and recent DeMatha High School graduate, captured the Junior Title with a two-day total of 149, eight shots better than Esteban Knorr. Graham, who is headed to Virginia Union University this fall, admitted his main motivation was playing for an uncle who had recently passed away.
"All weekend my main focus was playing for my [late] uncle," Graham said. "It helped that I also had a really good caddie. That took plenty of weight off my shoulders. I felt good both days. There were some tough holes, especially on the back nine. I had only played that course once before and I didn't have the chance to play the back nine that day because my match was over early."