Rowan Amateur: Dorsett wins second Amateur
By Ryan Bisesi
SALISBURY — A day that started with unfamiliar faces at the 34th Horace Billings Rowan Amateur came to a common ending.
That would be Keith Dorsett accepting a new piece of hardware.
Dorsett won his second Rowan Amateur championship 4 and 2 against Steve Gegorek by sinking a 20-foot chip-in on No. 16 at Corbin Hills. Dorsett defeated defending champion Ronnie Eidson Saturday and kept his hot streak going with two big wins on the final day.
All Gegorek could do was tip his cap and offer a congratulatory hug after a round that featured six birdies from Dorsett. All the humidity in the world couldn’t keep the 33-year-old South Rowan grad from breaking a sweat Sunday on his home course.
“Keith’s the best golfer around here,” Gegorek said. “I would rather not lose to anybody but him.“
After winning his seventh Rowan Masters last month Dorsett’s string of success comes at a vital time. Today he will try and qualify for the U.S. Amateur at the Warrior.
“Today was just a fun afternoon playing,” Dorsett said. “Steve’s one of my great friends. We play golf together a lot.”
Dorsett stumbled a bit out the gate, three-putting on the fourth hole. The title match was even after four and Gegorek went 1 up after hitting the flag on Hole 5, a 196-yard Par 3, and getting a birdie.
The slow greens hurt Gegorek as Dorsett claimed Hole 7 after Gegorek misfired on a two-and-a-half footer. Gegorek was short on another putt on No. 8 to allow it to stay even.
“My putting let me down on several holes,” Gegorek said. “That would have made the match much more interesting. It comes down to putting.”
Then Dorsett birdied No. 9 to take the lead for good.
“I knew I needed to make a couple more birdies to put the pressure on him,” Dorsett said. “It was a good match. There were a lot of laughs out there and good golf too.”
Dorsett earned a birdie on Hole 12 to go up 2. A win on No. 15 gave him a commanding lead and things looked good when his tee shot from 16 came up around the lip of the green.
“That was just one of those shots where I’m looking to get it in the leather and tap it in,” Dorsett said. “I had a good lie. Just barely out of the fringe in the rough.”
Dorsett defeated Todd Johnson 3 and 2 in the semifinals, sinking clutch putts on No. 4, 10 and 13.
“Keith’s just playing better than all of us right now,” Johnson said. “I hit the ball OK, but when you get to this stage, it’s all about putting.”
Dorsett’s win left the door open for a triple crown with the Labor Day Tournament at Country Club of Salisbury left.
“It’s a good start when you get the first two,” Dorsett said. “It just makes it tougher when you get that third one.”
NOTES:Dorsett figures to have to shoot two rounds in the mid 60’s to advance in his hopes to qualify for the U.S. Amateur today. He said five of the top 104 golfers will advance. Dorsett attempted to qualify in 2003 and missed the cut on the first day.
Medalist Mark Deese was a semifinalist and fell to Gegorek 4 and 3. Gegorek was playing in his first championship round at the Amateur. Johnson defeated Deese in a consolation match.