Oct. 2, 2011
-- The Navy golf team won five of the seven singles matches on Sunday to earn a 7-4 victory in this year's Star Match played at the Naval Academy Golf Course in Annapolis.
The two teams came into the final day of action all square with two points apiece, but the Mids earned wins in the first two singles matches of the day to jump out to a 4-2 advantage. Sophomore Drew Selby (Charlotte, N.C.), who was playing in his first Star Match, secured a 2&1 victory over Army's Brandon Baerwaldt after Baerwaldt just missed on a seven-foot put for par on the 17th, while Selby two-putted for par and gained the day's first point.
One would think a rookie might have the jitters in his first Army-Navy match, but freshman August Jonas (Jacksonville, Fla.) didn't let it bother him. Instead, his magical fall continued on Sunday when he scored his second point of the weekend for the Mids, turning back Black Knights senior Ethan Johnson, 3&2. Jonas paired up with Navy senior Tyler Kuhn (Louisville, Ky.) on Saturday to take the four-ball point against Army's Anthony Kim and Brandon Baerwaldt.
"I absolutely loved it," said Jonas when asked about his first Army-Navy experience. "I was a nervous wreck yesterday before we started, but then I was able to settle in and enjoy it. It's everything I expected and having the opportunity to play in this match is exactly why I wanted to come to Navy. I'm thrilled for our team."
Up 4-2 in the match, Navy suffered its first singles loss when Army sophomore Anthony Kim, a 2011 All-Patriot League performer, dealt Navy senior Collier Jones (Little Rock, Ark.) a 4&2 loss.
Navy, however, pushed its lead to 5-3 when Kuhn earned a 4&2 win against Army junior Dave Marx. A year ago Kuhn captured his four-ball match alongside 2011 grad Rob Merkert, but was easily defeated in singles action, 6&5. This year, he made it his personal mission to turn that result around.
"I set a goal at the beginning of the weekend to win both matches should Coach Owen put me in the lineup on Sunday," said Kuhn. "It's gratifying to be able to score two points for the team this weekend, but August carried me much of the back nine yesterday."
With three matches remaining, the Mids needed just one more point to clinch the win. But they would have to wait, however, as Army junior Matt Philie picked up a 4&3 win over two-time All-Patriot League selection Peter Reilly (Merrimack, N.H.).
It seemed only fitting that it would be team captain Tim Shield (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.) who would clinch the win for the Midshipmen. After all, a year ago he sank a 12-foot birdie shot on the 15th hole to not only earn the singles win over his opponent, but also seal the team victory. This year, he jumped out on his foe William Park early and never looked back. He was 5-up after the turn which featured a spectacular drive on the sixth hole that set up a five-foot putt for eagle.
"That's easily the closest I've come to making an eagle on six," said Shield, with classmate Kuhn chiming in that not many have come close.
Shield again clinched the Navy victory on the 15th hole and it was in dramatic fashion. Park rolled in a long birdie putt, but was shown up by Shield when he holed an extremely fast-breaking, right-to-left putt for birdie to top Park's birdie putt.
"This is a special match, Army-Navy, and to win at home makes it even more special to all of us, especially the seniors," said Shield, who remarkably never lost a four-ball or singles match to Army in his four years.
Kuhn echoed his sentiments, "It's a great feeling to get this win, especially since we lost to Army the last time we played them here."
Meanwhile, Navy sophomore David Hall (Huntersville, N.C.) earned a 2-up victory over junior Erik Park in the final match of the day to give the Mids a 7-4 win.
"This was a fantastic team effort," said 22nd-year Navy head coach Pat Owen, who is now 13-9 all-time against the Black Knights. "I'm extremely happy for our seniors who showed great leadership throughout the weekend. I don't think there was any one player that I would single out because no matter if they won or lost their match, the entire team played great all weekend.
"Army played a strong match against us and a tip of the cap goes to their team for battling it out the entire weekend."
The Midshipmen now lead the overall series against Army, 43-30-1, including a 26-11 advantage in matches played in Annapolis. Meanwhile, the three-point difference marked the largest margin of victory by either team since the 2004 match when Army defeated Navy, 7-4, in West Point. It's the largest margin of victory by the Mids since scoring an 8-3 win over the Black Knights at West Point in 2002.
It's the second Star victory for the Naval Academy in as many days. On Saturday evening, sophomore midfielder Guy Skord scored the game's only goal in the 16th minute to lead the Navy men's soccer team to a 1-0 Star Game victory over the Black Knights at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility in Annapolis.
The Navy golf team will return to action next weekend when it travels to Pennsylvania to compete in the Philadelphia Big Five Classic.
Navy def. Army, 7-4
Drew Selby (Navy) def. Brandon Baerwaldt (Army), 2&1
August Jonas (Navy) def. Ethan Johnson (Army), 3&2
Anthony Kim (Army) def. Collier Jones (Navy), 4&2
Tyler Kuhn (Navy) def. Dave Marx (Army), 4&2
David Hall (Navy) def. Erik Park (Army), 2-up
Matt Philie (Army) def. Peter Reilly (Navy), 4&3
Tim Shield (Navy) def. William Park (Army), 4&3
Matt Philie - David Marx (Army) def. Drew Selby - Bobby Keating (Navy), 3&2
Tyler Kuhn - August Jonas (Navy) def. Brandon Baerwaldt - Anthony Kim (Army), 3&2
Peter Reilly - Collier Jones (Navy) halved Ethan Johnson - Robby Hill (Army)
Tim Shield - David Hall (Navy) halved William Park - Eric Park (Army)
### Go Navy ###