Com­pet­ing with the best

Golf trio has mixed re­sults in Op­ti­mist international tour­na­ment

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

Three lo­cal golfers com­peted in three dif­fer­ent brack­ets in the re­cent Op­ti­mist International Ju­nior Golf Cham­pi­onships at PGA Na­tional in Palm Beach Gar­dens, Fla., where mak­ing the trip out­weighed mak­ing the cut.

Tyler Koch of Is­sue, a re­cent La Plata High School grad­u­ate, failed to make the cut in the boys 16- to 18-yearold bracket af­ter three rounds of play in which he shot a 22-over-par 238 (78-8179). Trent Tyer of Wal­dorf, a ris­ing ju­nior at North Point High School, failed to make the cut in the boys 14-15 divi­sion af­ter shoot­ing a 25-over 169 (88-81), but Bai­ley Davis of White Plains, a year away from at­tend­ing McDonough High School, fin­ished all three rounds of the 13-14 girls divi­sion with an 18-over 234 (83-76-75), good for a tie for 20th over­all.

“It was a good ex­pe­ri­ence,” Davis said. “The course was flat, but it was hu­mid all three days. I wasn’t ac­cus­tomed to that much hu­mid­ity. But it was not as tough as some of the course that I nor­mally play. Right now Na­tional [Golf Club in Fort Wash­ing­ton] is my home course. It used to be Po­tomac Ridge [Golf Course

in Wal­dorf], but I have since moved over to Na­tional.”

Dyer ad­mit­ted he could not find a sin­gle high­light from his two rounds, but con­fessed that sim­ply play­ing against a high level of com­pe­ti­tion at a na­tion­ally rec­og­nized course helped el­e­vate the ex­pe­ri­ence. Dyer still has two more sea­sons re­main­ing with the North Point squad and he also plays ten­nis in the spring for the Ea­gles.

“Just to be able to play on that course, one that the best play­ers in the world have played and ev­ery­one watched on na­tional tele­vi­sion, was a great thrill,” Dyer said. “It was a chal­leng­ing course. I could have played a lot bet­ter, but I think I’ve got­ten bet­ter at course man­age­ment over the last two years. I’ve learned it’s bet­ter to stay in the fair­ways.”

Koch, who fin­ished tied for 11th at the state tour­na­ment last fall with a two-day to­tal of 145 (73-72) that was only six shots be­hind even­tual win­ner, Adam Gray of Win­ston Churchill in Mont­gomery County, is headed to Winthrop Univer­sity (S.C.) this fall. His ef­fort in the international event did not de­ter Ea­gles coach Kevin Pend­ley from his ex­pec­ta­tions.

“I am very ex­cited about Tyler and what he brings to Ea­gle golf,” Pend­ley said. “He is a great com­peti­tor and has a very pos­i­tive ap­proach to the game. Tyler has a strong build and he is fun­da­men­tally sound in all facets of his game and he is just scratch­ing the sur­face of what he can be­come as a player.”

For Tyer, he ad­mit­ted the two rounds in Florida can only help him be­come more com­pet­i­tive in the up­com­ing high school sea­son.

“The one thing that I took away from it was it def­i­nitely helped me im­prove my game,” Tyer said. “I was play­ing against the best play­ers in the world my age. It was great com­pe­ti­tion. Ob­vi­ously, I wanted to play bet­ter but it helped me un­der­stand what I need to work on this fall.”

Lo­cal ju­nior golf coach Ned Spear­beck also was not dis­mayed by the re­sults, He was im­pressed with Davis’ abil­ity to sim­ply fin­ish in the top 20 and ex­pects Koch to per­form well in col­lege and Tyer to have a good fi­nal two sea­sons at North Point.

“It was great for Bai­ley to fin­ish tied for 20th,” Spear­beck said. “Only three of the top 10 girls in that age group were from the United States, so it was truly an international event. Tyler is go­ing to do well at Winthrop and I think Trent is go­ing to have a good ju­nior sea­son. They all should have ben­e­fited from that ex­pe­ri­ence.”

FILE PHOTO

Tyler Koch of Is­sue, a re­cent La Plata High School grad­u­ate, failed to make the cut in the boys 16- to 18-yearold bracket af­ter three rounds of play in which he shot a 22-over-par 238 (78-81-79) in the re­cent Op­ti­mist International Ju­nior Golf Cham­pi­onships at PGA Na­tional in Palm Beach Gar­dens, Fla.

Bai­ley Davis of White Plains fin­ished all three rounds of the 13-14 girls divi­sion with an 18-over 234 (83-76-75), good for a tie for 20th over­all in the re­cent Op­ti­mist International Ju­nior Golf Cham­pi­onships at PGA Na­tional in Palm Beach Gar­dens, Fla.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

Trent Tyer of Wal­dorf, a ris­ing ju­nior at North Point High School, failed to make the cut in the boys 14-15 divi­sion af­ter shoot­ing a 25-over 169 (88-81) in the re­cent Op­ti­mist International Ju­nior Golf Cham­pi­onships at PGA Na­tional in Palm Beach Gar­dens, Fla.

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