Defending champion Marty West went to a different set of irons and struggled with them, but won his first two matches in the Maryland amateur gold tournament yesterday at Columbia Country Club.
West, in quest of his fourth Maryland Amateur over his home course, played a six-hole stretch in three under par and went on to eliminate Ned Longson of Manor, 3 and 2, in the morning. In the afternoon, the Masters, U.S. Open and Walker Cup participant was not as sharp, coming in with a three-over-par effort that beat orthodontist Dave Bimestefer of Baltimore Country Club, 4 and 3.
"I've played with four sets of irons this spring," said Bethesda mortgage banker West. I feel like, in order to do something in the tournament, I'm going to have to hit the irons better."
Worsham champ Larry Rentz also gained today's quarterfinals. He scored a 2-and-1 victory over Bobby Morris in the morning and, in the afternoon, the 19-year-old Crofton player buried 53-year old Bill Dornbush of Country Club of Maryland, 5 and 4, with six birdies.
Big Dave Pelz of Greencastle bombed Sheldon Kalish of Woodholme, 8 and 6, and then beat Ben Brundred of Congressional, a finalist two years ago, 4 and 3.
Pelz said he was dog-tired after walking two rounds. "It's hard to get all this weight around this course. I weigh 240 pounds; at least I did before I started."
In an afternoon battle of Columbia Country Clubbers, Henri deLozier edged David Morris, 1 up. Morris shared the qualifying medal with 70 and played well in his morning match, but the wheels came off after he chipped into the cup for birdie a the eighth hole to go 2 up over deLozier.
Morris lost No. 9 when he shanked a shot, No. 10 when he topped his tee shot, and 11 when he pushed his drive into pine trees.
DeLozier won, 1 up, on the final hole, where both scored pars.
In today's quarterfinals, West faces Matt Sughrue of Bethesda at 8:30, followed by Rentz vs. Paul Ryan of Congressional, deLozier vs. Pelz, and lefty Mike McCarthy of Greencastle vs. Mike Bittman of Congressional.