Jim Estes of Rockville, who lost in last year's semifinals, and Tim Moylan reached today's 8 a.m. 36-hole final of the Maryland Amateur at Congressional Country Club.
Estes, of Bethesda Country Club, overcame midround putting problems and defeated Chuck Ebner of Baltimore, 2 and 1, in his afternoon semifinal. Estes beat John Kyle of Congressional, 3 and 2, in a morning quarterfinal.
Moylan, who won his morning match by default when scheduled opponent Eddie Johnston had to take his ill wife to a Baltimore hospital, held off Mike Cox of Dunkirk, Md., 2-up, to gain the final.
Last year, Estes held a 1-up lead with two holes to play but lost the last two holes and the semifinal match to Joe Records.
"I had negative thoughts in my mind last year," said Estes, 20, a junior at the University of Tennessee, where he plays on the golf team. "This time I was thinking positive. It's so much easier the second time you're in a position to win."
Ebner, who eliminated seven-time champion Marty West in the second round, appeared doomed on the first extra hole of his morning quarterfinal against Butch Mielke of Robin Dale. Mielke was on the green of the par-4 hole in two shots, and Ebner had missed the green. But Ebner chipped two feet from the hole and made par, and Mielke three-putted for bogey to lose the match.
Against Ebner, Estes three-putted the 12th and 13th holes and the match remained even. Estes finally went ahead to stay when Ebner took bogey from a greenside bunker at the 15th hole. The match ended at the par-4 17th hole, where Estes made par and Ebner took bogey after hooking his second shot into trees near the green.
"I think age finally caught up with me," said Ebner, a 47-year-old mailman. "My back is absolutely killing me."
Moylan, 22, a senior at the University of Maryland who plays out of Argyle Country Club, held off a late surge by Cox of Breton Bay. Cox parred the 15th hole to pull within two down and parred the 17th to pull within one.
Moylan parred the par-3 18 hole and Cox bogeyed after missing the green to the left, giving Moylan the victory.