Larry Rentz of Crofton, Terry Burke of Congressional and David Morris of the host club each carded 70 and let 31 qualifiers for the Maryland Amateur golf championship yesterday at Columbia Country Club.
Defending champion Marty West was an automatic qualifier. West, playing his home course and gunning for his fourth Maryland Amateur title, chipped in for eagle 3 on the par-5 fifth hole and finished with 72 in a practice round.
Rentz, a 19-year-old long hitter from Lanham who just returned from the U.S. Open in Toledo, birdied three straight front-nine holes. Rentz hit a seven-iron second shot to the long par-4 sixth hold and canned a three-foot putt for his first bird and chipped in from just off the green on the next hole.
He hit a five-iron 10 feet from the cup on the par-3 eight and holed the putt for his final birdie.
Burke, 19, who will be a sophomore next year at the University of Kentucky, where he plays on the golf team, switched from baseball to golf when he broke his leg in four places in a teen-age motorcycle accident. Burke still limps and is pained more in chilly winds like yesterday.
Burke had four birdies in a round marked by strong putting and chipping.
Morris was one of 15 Columbia golfers in the field of 153. The slim 22-year-old began by canning an eight-foot birdie on the slick first green and added birdies at six and 16.
How do you three-putt from four feet? Ask Andy Fitzgerald of Congressional, who got off to a miserable start by doing so for double bogey on the treacherous first green.
Mike McCarthy, Bob Sherwood, Dave Pelz, Ron Rhodes and Bill Scott won the last five spots in a seven-way playoff for those who shot 76.
Maryland Open champion Gary Marlowe of Woodmont and Tom Walsh of Montgomery Village were the playoff casualties.
Marlowe was stymied by a tree after his drive. He chipped back to the fairway, pitched to the green and three-putted for double bogey.
Walsh, who hit the best of seven drives, pulled his short iron approach shot to the left of the green, chipped up and missed an eight-footer for bogey.