Steady Marty West took advantage of Jack Skilling's putting miseries and collected his third Maryland Amateur golf title, 9 and 7, yesterday at Talbot Country Club.
The 36-hole final was between golfers whose clubs are within a mile of each other on Connecticut Avenue just outside Washington, Skilling of Chevy Chase Club and reigning Maryland Open champ West of Columbia Country Club.
In the morning round, West won holes four, five and six with pars and eight with birdle. He went out in 35 for a 5-up lead.
Skilling, Maryland State and Middle Atlantic junior titlist, three-putted to lose the fourth hole and missed a sixfooter that would have halved the fifth. On the sixth, Skilling outdrove West considerably and appeared in good shape to win the hole when West's drive found trees. However, West hit a fine trouble shot from the trees that stopped just in front of the green and Skilling shanked his approach shot from 100 yards out and lost the hole.
Skilling birdied the 11th for his first win of the day but West rebounded to win the 12th with par when Skilling missed a 3 1/2 footer. Skilling hit the par-5 13th in two and two putted for birdie to pull within four holes.
On 15, Skilling's putting woes were again evident when he missed a two footer to lose, sending West 5 up. West finished the morning round with a 5-up lead, shooting 72, to Skilling's 77.
Skilling visited the practice putting green between rounds to little avail as West won the afternoon's first hole with birdie and went 7 up when Skilling missed another short putt on the second.
West went 8 up when Skilling three-putted the sixth hole.
Former U. S. Open and Masters competitor West brought the match to a close on the par-5 11th when he hit the green in two shots and lag-putted to within eight inches for a conceded birdie.
West's drives found the rough frequently in the morning 18 but were straighter in the afternoon. He was even par for the entire day and took 50 putts to Skilling's 56.