Calvert Hall grad Crowley claims Maryland Boys Junior Amateur golf crown
by Nelson Coffin
Recent Calvert Hall grad Michael Crowley started strong and maintained a torrid pace to finish ahead of 77 other competitors at the 96th Maryland Boys Junior Amateur golf championship at Greystone Golf Course on Thursday afternoon.
The 2019 MIAA A Conference individual champ posted a 4-under par 68 to edge defending champ Bryan Kim, of Sherwood High School in Montgomery County, by a stroke in the rain-shortened prestigious two-day event for state amateur players 18 and under.
Crowley’s eagle on the par-5 first hole set the tone for a spectacular round which featured birdies on the third, fifth, 10th and 17th holes, on the 6,755-yard course in White Hall.
He coaxed his second shot, with a hybrid 3, from 240 yards to within a yard of the cup for a tap-in and a quick lead.
“I aimed at the left side of the green and just tried to leave it in the middle,” Crowley said. “It was definitely good to get off to a good start, but I knew I had to keep making birdies.”
The Loyola University of Maryland commit’s steady play was evident when he carded only two bogeys in capturing the crown.
Strong drives and solid irons helped Crowley prevail.
“Michael is really long off the tee and has good irons,” Calvert Hall coach Drew Forrester said. “He’s a very hard worker and has made himself into a pretty complete player. This is only his third summer of playing competitive summer golf. And that’s what I tell the kids when they ask me how they can improve. You have to play tournaments in the summer to get used to strong competition.”
As accomplished as Crowley is with two significant championships under his belt, his coach noted that there is always room for improvement.
“When he’s got it going on, he’s one of the best players in the area — and one of the best in the state,” Forrester added. “He just needs to improve his short game and his putting, and I think he’d tell you that, too. But nothing he does surprises me because of how hard he works.”
Crowley said that his putting and chipping have gotten better and that he will continue to work at those aspects of his game.
“My ball striking is the strength of my game,” he said. “I only had to get up and down once. I didn’t do anything crazy on the greens. I two-putted when I had to and moved on to the next hole.”
Crowley’s Cardinal teammate, Grant Dalrymple, finished 10th overall after firing a 74.
Lorenzo Sanz is another Calvert Hall golfer making his mark this summer by winning the Bob Benning championship at Stoneleigh Golf Club in Round Hill, Va. last month.
The 36-hole event features top boys and girls junior golfers from Virginia and Maryland in four divisions.
Sanz blistered the field in the 16-18 bracket, finishing seven strokes better than runner-up Mehrbaan Singh of Ashburn, Va.
“He’s one of the best juniors I’ve ever coached,” Forrester said. “And he might be the best junior in the state. The sky’s the limit for him. He’ll be our No. 1 guy heading into next season. He already has a great short game, which means he has a lot of touch and is able to make a variety of shots.”
Crowley said that his fellow Cardinal is a “really good player, who’s just going to get better and better.”