Amateur Marty West of Columbia Country Club celebrated his 29th birthday by winning his second Maryland Open in three years at the Maryland Open in three years at the Maryland Golf and County Club. His 54-hole total of 217 was one stroke better than Doug Ballenger. Each player carded par 73s today.
Nobody else was close. Ballenger received the top pro money of $1,100 while Paul Mosca who had 224 and finished third received $800.
West and Ballenger were the only two golfers to break par of 219 in the three-day test played in broiling weather but over a fine course.
West had a one-shot advantage going into the final round but lost two strokes to Ballenger on the front nine. He rallied with a two-under-par 35 on the back to win it.
The Columbia golfer will pass up the District Amateur next week to play in the Southern Amateur. His goal is a place on the 1977 Walker Cup team and thus far he has impressive credentials.
SInce last fall, West has won the Crump Cup, one of the top amateur events in the country: the Middle Atlantic Amateur title: the Eastern FOur-Bail: the Poor Richard's tournament and the Anderson Memorial. He also went to the quarterfinals of the North-South Amateur finished second in the Tournament of Champions for amateurs and sixth in the Northeast Amateur.
The Maryland Open has been West's pet tournament for the past four years.In 1974 he lost in a playoff to pro Chris Pigott. He won the title in 1975 and tied for second with Joe Walter last year.
West and Ballenger were paired together in the final round today.
Ballenger took the lead with a birdie on the short eighth when West missed a green and took a bogey 4.
The two parred the next three holes but Ballenger increased his margin to two shots when he parred the 13th after West put his second shot in a trap and took a bogey.
West got a stroke back on the 14th with a par to Ballenger's bogey. The Columbia golfer squared it on the 16th with a 10-foot birdie putt and went one up on the par-five 17th when he rolled in another 10-foot birdie putt.
On the 18th a tough par-four, West was on the freen in two and Ballenger came out well and made his par but West also got his par and that was the title.
Defending champion George Graefe, now a pro, finsihed in a tie for fourthwith Columbia amateur Henri deLozier at 225.