River Hill golf’s Benjamin Siriboury, Helen Yeung repeat as county champions


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Nov 21, 2023

River Hill golf’s Benjamin Siriboury, Helen Yeung repeat as county champions

If last week’s runner-up finish at the District V tournament was a self-described “wakeup call” for River Hill senior Helen Yeung, Monday’s county championship event served as a reminder of just how

If last week’s runner-up finish at the District V tournament was a self-described “wakeup call” for River Hill senior Helen Yeung, Monday’s county championship event served as a reminder of just how dominant she can be when dialed in.

Yeung raced out of the gates at Fairway Hills with birdies on three of her first five holes and never looked back on the way to a county-record score of 66 (4-under) that was nine shots better than second-place finisher Megan Kirkpatrick of Glenelg.

It marks the third county title for Yeung, who shot under par in each victory.

“Districts, as it turned out, really was a great time for me to see what I needed to work on for my game. I had a lesson yesterday and we talked about my shots and what I needed to do to keep getting better, which turned out to be a perfect stepping stone into today,” Yeung said. “Right away I could see that my ball striking was better, and I gave myself lots of birdie opportunities on the front nine. Even though I didn’t make all of them, I was able to get under par quickly and set the tone to put up a good score.”

It was a legacy-building victory on the boys side as well, with River Hill senior Benjamin Siriboury winning the second county championship of his career with a 76, one shot clear of Marriotts Ridge’s Jonathan Moon (77).

The score wasn’t what Siriboury — who was coming off a 71 to claim the district title last Tuesday — expected of himself, but he managed the windy conditions well enough down the stretch to prevail.

“To be honest, my game on the front and back nine was not there today. I really didn’t think I was going to even place with the way I was playing,” Siriboury said. “It was tough, but I kept telling myself to play my own game. I guess it was tough for everyone, though. I really tried my best to stay focused even when I hit bad shots and I guess it ended up working out.”

Siriboury and Yeung will turn their attention now to the state tournament at the University of Maryland, which is scheduled for Oct. 23-25. Both Hawks are the two-time defending 4A/3A individual champions and would make history if able to repeat for a third time.

Yeung heads to states with plenty of momentum after cruising through her round Monday without a bogey. She narrowly missed her birdie attempts on the first two holes before sinking a putt from just off the green on the par-3 third to kick-start her day.

She then made birdies on the next two holes as well, narrowly missing a 20-foot putt for eagle on the fifth, to get to 3-under par.

Kirkpatrick kept pace early on, making birdies of her own on the second and sixth holes to sit only a shot back at 2-under par. Afterward, Yeung acknowledged that she was feeding off the strong play by her playing competitor.

“It was fun those first few holes, both Megan and I were a couple under and playing well. That always helps to have someone else in the group making birdies too,” Yeung said. “For me, making that long one on No. 3 definitely boosted my confidence up and helped my round take a turn.”

Kirkpatrick’s irons were locked in from the early stages of the round, but ultimately a couple mistakes around the greens cost her. She made a costly double bogey on the seventh hole and three-putted the ninth hole to sit four shots back making the turn.

“I was putting myself in good spots in the beginning and basically had birdie putts on each of the first six holes. I actually probably could have been 3- or 4-under at that point,” she said. “Unfortunately, I just made a few mistakes after that which turned into bigger problems and turned my round. I was happy overall, though … I finished strong.”

Kirkpatrick played her last three holes in 1-under to secure sole possession of second place ahead of third-place finisher Michelle Yeung of River Hill (77). Marriotts Ridge’s Lila Becker finished fourth (80) and Atholton’s Cate Lee was fifth (81).

For Helen Yeung, putting her name in the record book in her final county championship tournament was a nice cherry on top of the win.

“I love representing my school. That’s been something that has meant a lot to me every year, so knowing that I was able to achieve this record and do it while representing River Hill is definitely special,” Yeung said. “It’s exciting to see how much I’ve improved the last couple years.”

At the state tournament, Yeung and Kirkpatrick — this year’s District V champion — will not go head-to-head for a third time this postseason. Instead, they will be split between different classifications with Yeung in 4A/3A and Kirkpatrick in 2A/1A.

While the girls county race was a runaway, the boys tournament came down to the final holes.

Contrary to Yeung, Siriboury found himself grinding right from the beginning of his round. He made bogeys on his second and third holes and didn’t make his first birdie until the par-3 12th hole. He went to the 13th tee trailing Moon by three shots.

Moon opened his round with a birdie and played steady golf over the entirety of the front nine to race into the overall lead. He would add a birdie of his own on the 12th hole to get to even par.

Down the stretch, however, Moon was unable to close the door.

“I was playing well, hitting my irons really well, and felt like I was managing my putting fine until I got to the 14th hole,” Moon said. “I didn’t have the greatest chip shot and then three-putted on top of that for a double (bogey) and then I kind of got in my head after that. I basically three-putted every hole the rest of the round.”

Moon played his last five holes in 7-over to finish alone in second. It still marks the best postseason finish of his high school career.

Siriboury wasn’t perfect down the stretch, making two bogeys of his own over the final three holes. But when he made mistakes, like hitting the ball into the water on the par-3 17th, he was able to limit the damage.

“At the end, I was just telling myself no more double bogeys. Like on 17, after my tee shot in the water, I was grinding but I knew I needed to get up and down,” Siriboury said. “I kept thinking, ‘Don’t let bad turn into worse.”

The trio of Howard’s Dev Sheth, Marriotts Ridge’s Aidan Kim and River Hill’s Keagan Graves tied for third place with 79s.

Top girls finishers: 1. Helen Yeung, River Hill, 66; 2. Megan Kirkpatrick, Glenelg, 75; 3. Michelle Yeung, River Hill, 77; 4. Lila Becker, Marriotts Ridge, 80; 5. Cate Lee, Atholton, 81; 6. Emma Koech, Long Reach, 82; 7. Samadhi Tennakoon, Glenelg, 85; 8. Evelyn Park, River Hill, 86; 9. Jane Mhonda, Wilde Lake, 87; 10. Charlene Pak, Marriotts Ridge, 88.

Top boys finishers: 1. Benjamin Siriboury, River Hill, 76; 2. Jonathan Moon, Marriotts Ridge, 77; T3. Dev Sheth, Howard, 79; T3. Aidan Kim, Marriotts Ridge, 79; T3. Keagan Graves, River Hill, 79; 6. George Williamson, Marriotts Ridge, 80; 7. Sean Dawes, Howard, 81; 8. Zach Vernick, Marriotts Ridge, 82; 9. Andrew Christiansen, Atholton, 84; T10. Chris Bone, Mt. Hebron, 90; T10. Jake Filler, Long Reach, 90.