As the rest of his foursome prepared for the 18th hole in Wednesday’s final round of the Maryland state golf tournament, Bennett Buch strolled off to the side of the green. From there, the Marriotts Ridge freshman carefully placed his ball in a cleaner and wiped his hands on a hanging towel, all the while studying the par-4 layout in front of him.
Normally a cool customer, this was far from Buch’s typical pre-shot routine. However, he was taking no chances with just one stroke separating him from two other opponents.
“I made sure to cover all my bases, and I actually was going for a birdie on the last hole because I didn’t want to get stuck in a playoff,” said Buch, who shot a 68 on the first day of the tournament.
Though he ended up settling for par on the hole, Buch’s wish of a playoff-free title came true as he carded a two-day score of 4-under-par 138 to win the boys’ crown by one shot. Pikesville’s Matt Oshrine (66-73 — 139) and Centennial’s Connor Flach (71-68 — 139) finished in a tie for second at the University of Maryland Golf Course in College Park.