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Last Update :4/25/2012

Lyberger and Morris Rally to Claim Pro-Am Title at Crofton

John Lyberger, Director of Golf at Congressional Country Club, birdied Nos. 16 and 17 at Crofton Country Club to lift himself and partner Bobby Morris, three-time Maryland Senior Amateur champion, to a one-stroke victory in the 56th annual Pro-Amateur championship of the Maryland State Golf Association on April 24 at Crofton Country Club. The two meshed for a 4-under-par 34-34--68 over the 7,084-yard Anne Arundel County course. The weather was sunny and bright, but players were buffeted by gusty breezes and the temperature never made it out of the 50's.
 
This was enough to squeeze past early leaders Kyle Carranza and Mark Cusic, from Breton Bay CC, who posted 34-35--69 to finish alone in second place in the 56-team field. Cusic, reigning Maryland Amateur champion, was a winner of this event last year with pro Justin Heimer at Hillendale Country Club, also the site of his Amateur triumph in June.
 
By winning, Morris set a MSGA record for the longest time between victories in the event, 40 years, since he had won as a professional with 10-time Maryland Amateur champion Ralph Bogart in 1972 when both were at the Chevy Chase Club. Morris and Lyberger also tied for first at CC of Woodmore in 1996, but neither was able to stay for the play-off. "I made it from a softball game -- still in uniform -- and asked where the playoff was.” "In the middle of the first fairway" was the response of officials. Then Morris said he'd join his partner at the second tee (permitted by the rules). "Fine, but your partner isn't here."
 
Carranza birdied No. 1 and No. 9 and Cusic birdied No.2 in their bogey-free round, an effort that stood as the lead for some two hours before the climactic finish.
 
There was a three-way tie at 70 among Joe Plecker-Andrew Rice, Baltimore CC; Bob Dolan-Dan Brigati, Columbia CC, and Jeff Williams-Rusty Pies, Bethesda CC. Rice had four birdies including a 40-foot putt at the fifth; Dolan (three birdies) and Brigati were -3 through No. 7 (16 holes), but bogeyed the eighth, while Williams-Pies (4) had five birdies but also three bogeys. Five teams were at 71, including host professional pro Fred Ryder III  and longtime club stalwart Gary Carpenter.
 
Playing in the final group, Morris arrived at the 18th green asking about the leading score. "You need to make par . . . don't three-putt," was the response. So Morris, slightly outside of his partner and on the same line, rolled in his second putt for the victory. Earlier, Morris and Lyberger each made three birdies. The pro made it from 25 feet at No. 5 after his partner was in with par; from a foot at 16 and from 40 feet at No. 17. "We picked out a spot about 10 feet in front of us and figured we had a chance if the ball rolled over the spot," Morris said, It did and broke back right to fall into the cup." Morris made putts from 8, 10, and 12 feet for his birdies.
 

- Reported by John Stewart



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