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High Scores, Higher Drama at Golf Tourney
It was a sunny but cool autumn morning for the 2009 MSO golf tournament held Oct. 19 at Laytonsville Golf Course, a welcome respite from Noah's flood that had drenched the Washington area for almost five days. The course was in excellent shape, the leaves had yet to fall and everything pointed to a day of great scores.

It didn't happen.

In posting the second-highest gross scores of the decade behind the 2001 event, no new records were set and the lowest round was captured by Ron Welke of Germantown and Allen Durling of Baltimore, each with an 83. In fact, only six scores were in the 80s.

The players quickly discovered that the early-morning chill had one impact, but thick, wet rough from the rain and moist greens kept play unpredictable. The best match of the day came in the women's 60-64 age group, where Karen Wood of Crofton and Sarah Stockstill of Upper Marlboro, veteran state amateur players, tied for the gold with a 93 each. The difference, according to Wood? Navigating the putting surfaces.

Throughout the tournament we saw players perplexed by the greens. One would play fast, another would play slow. And when the scores were tallied, only three players repeated as gold medalists from last year—Wood, Carolyn Hudson (women's 65-69) and Doug Katzenberger (men's 65-69).

Best example of the scramble to score: In women's 75-79, Nancy Callan leaped from a bronze last year, when she shot 102, to a gold this year with a 110. Last year's gold medalist, Peggy Richitt with a 96, slumped to a bronze this year with a 111. All on the same course in 364 days' time.

Of course, it was a smaller field in a non-qualifying year and several veteran MSO performers did not participate. Among those missing were Maryland's three stars at the National Senior Games last summer—women's 60-64 gold medalist Karen Smith, and silver medalists Peter Chen in men's 80-84 and John Ford in men's 90-plus.

Still, some fun drama unfolded for medals. Steve Oristian took gold in the men's 55-59 with an 85 and two-shot victory against Ted Wroth. Lawrence Hatakeyama's 96 bested Darrell Dempster by a stroke in men's 80-84—and neither was very happy with their play. As Mr. Dempster noted, they circled the cup all day.

Allen Durling, who finished 29th at the National Games, bounced back for gold in men's 75-79 with that low of 83. And one stroke separated the Callan-Richitt-Shirley James trio in women's 75-79, which developed a wretched familiarity with that nasty rough along the way.

Perhaps the best storyline of the day came from the elders—as in long-time participant Mary Lauffer, 91, becoming the first female in MSO history to play in the 90-94 golf age group, and the James Bunting-Bill Curran partnering in 90-94. What fun these fellows had, what fun watching them play.

Mr. Bunting moved up from the 85-89 group and trimmed 10 strokes off his last year's score for a 101. Mr. Curran, nattily attired in his tie and sweater vest, was flummoxed by the greens like so many others but still managed a 106, which on this day was still better than 17 younger players.
MSO Golf Records
2009 Golf Photo Gallery

2009 Golf Results
Age group medalists from the 2009 MSO golf tournament held Oct. 19 at the Laytonsville Golf Course in Laytonsville. Men played from the 5,892-yard, par-71 blue tees (slope: 119). Women played from the 4,944-yard, par-71 red tees (slope: 116). All scores are gross.

Gold—Steve Oristian,  Mt. Airy, 85
Silver—Ted Wroth, Poolesville, 87
Bronze—John Coker, 100

Gold—Bruce Brengle, Pasadena, 93
Silver—Henry Dahlen, Ellicott City, 97
Bronze—Eric Gyaki, Glen Burnie, 111

Gold—Doug Katzenberger, Gaithersburg, 89
Silver—Greg Loss, Walkersville, 105

Gold—Ron Welke, Germantown, 83
Silver—Gerald Snyder, 90
Bronze—Edward McCaffrey, 92

Gold—Allen Durling, Baltimore, 83
Silver—Will Tilghman, Hampstead, 88
Bronze—Paul Stanton, Potomac, 103

Gold—Lawrence Hatakeyama, 96
Silver—Darrell Dempster, Annapolis, 97
Bronze—Paul Widem, Kensington, 120

Gold—Edward Murphy, Rockville, 110

Gold—Jim Bunting, Silver Spring, 101

Silver—Bill Curran, Annapolis, 106

Gold—Debbie Gill, Annapolis, 95
Silver—Winnie Duvall, Rockville, 100

Gold—Karen Wood, Crofton,  93
Gold—Sarah Stockstill, Upper Marlboro,  93
Bronze—Paulette Savoy, Bowie,  107

Gold—Carolyn Hudson, Bowie, 93
Silver—Patricia Williams, 105
Bronze—Dottie Early, Ijamsville, 108

Gold—Mary Coffee, Silver Spring, 96
Silver—Mary Love Kennedy, 99
Bronze—Katherine Buckler, 105

Gold—Nancy Callan, Silver Spring, 110
Silver—Shirley James, Silver Spring, 111
Bronze—Peggy Richitt, Crofton, 111

Gold—Elizabeth Brabble, 110

Gold—Mary Lauffer, Annapolis, 134

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