June 10, 2009
Chevy Chase, Md. - For the second straight year, the Maryland State Amateur Championship will be staying in the Mulieri family.
Jay Mulieri, a rising sophomore for the Loyola golf team, won the Amateur State Title on Wednesday morning with a 2-up victory over Zach Lese at the Chevy Chase Country Club, just a year after his brother, Mike, won the tournament in 2008. They become the first brothers in the tournament's 88-year history to claim back-to-back wins.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment," said Loyola Head Coach Tom Beidleman. "Not only is it a difficult golf course, but it's a very strenuous event with competitors playing for five straight days."
Jay held a three-stroke lead in the 36-hole Championship on Tuesday before late-afternoon thunderstorms delayed the final three holes until Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.
But Lese won the first two holes this morning to go down by one entering the final hole. After Mulieri pushed his shot into the bunker on the 36th, he made a outstanding recovery. Standing 50 yards from the pin with the tournament on the line, he pitched his sand shot to within two feet for the tap-in par and the 2-up win after Lese's bogey. It was the fifth consecutive day that Mulieri had played in the tournament. He had played 36 holes the previous four days.
An outstanding stretch of play on Tuesday provided Mulieri with a 3-up cushion over Lese, his fellow amateur. In Round Two, he birdied holes 4 through 8 and 10 to go 3-up after 28 holes. His lead would hold steady the rest of the afternoon until heavy rain and lightning delayed play at around 5:40 p.m.
"That might have been the best stretch of golf I have ever seen him play,' said Beidleman. "He was really striking it well."
On Monday, Mulieri, the 2009 MAAC Rookie of the Year and TPC Potomac representative, spelled two tough opponents in the 36-player event. The Silver Spring, Md., native defeated Phil Fairbanks in the afternoon in 19 holes, while in the morning he edged Jim Morris, 1-up. Against Fairbanks, who had ousted Mike Mulieri 1-up in Monday's first round, Jay went 3-up early on the back nine, then lost holes 15-17 to go even. He then got up-and-down for par from 120 yards at No. 18, a number matched by his opponent. He won the 19th with a par.
Last year, Mike Mulieri won the event with a 4-and-2 win at the Woodholme Country Club in suburban Baltimore.