Marty West of Columbia Country Club, who has qualified 12 of the last 13 years, is one of seven area golfers playing in the 82nd U.S. Amateur golf tournament starting Tuesday at The Country Club and Charles River Country Club, both near Boston.
Besides medalist West, other local qualifiers were Northern Virginia Amateur champion Greg Carpousis, Terry Burke, Regan O'Rourke, Webb Heintzelman, Jim Estes and Brian Lehnhard. Estes and Lehnhard also qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur earlier this summer.
West's best finishes in the U.S. Amateur were a tie for sixth in 1971 at Wilmington, Del., and fourth place the following year at Charlotte, N.C. That was when the tournament was contested by strokes.
Three years ago the U.S. Golf Association changed to two rounds of preliminary stroke-play qualifying at two sites, then match play. A field of 282 will alternate two rounds between The Country Club and Charles River before being reduced to 64 for match play starting Thursday at The Country Club in Brookline.
"I think I have become a better match player in the last few years," said West, who won his sixth Maryland Amateur in match play this summer.
West is familiar with The Country Club, site of Julius Boros' celebrated U.S. Open playoff victory in 1963 over Arnold Palmer and Jacky Cupit. West played in Walker Cup matches there in 1973.
"I think the golf course will require some accurate driving and accurate iron shots," West said. "The greens are not big; the course is fairly tight. It will require a good shotmaker to do well in this tournament."
Nathaniel Crosby, son of the late Bing Crosby, is defending champion and thus an automatic qualifier.
Crosby was low amateur at the U.S. Open and last in the British Open.