Webb Heintzelman relinquished a two-stroke lead, then recovered with a 35 on his final nine holes yesterday for 73 -- 139 and a one-shot lead heading into today's final round of the 54-hole Maryland Open at Chartwell.
Larry Rentz of Newbridge, with 68 for yesterday's best round, and Rick Hughes of Indian Spring, who shot a 72, are one stroke behind, followed by amateur Marty West of Columbia (70) and two-time Maryland Open winner George Graefe of BWI Golf Center (69) at 141.
Heintzelman, 23, who lives in Bethesda and plays out of Washingtonian, started the day with a two-shot lead over Hughes after an opening round of six-under-par 66. Heintzelman birdied the first hole yesterday, but then bogeyed holes Nos. 2, 3 and 8 and was out in two-over-par 38.
West, seven-time Maryland Amateur champion and two-time winner of this event, made four birdies on the front nine for a 33, which enabled the Rockville banker to pull even with Heintzelman.
But Heintzelman birdied the 14th and 17th holes, and once again was ahead. West said a poor drive at the 10th hole and ensuing bogey made him lose momentum, and he also bogeyed the 17th hole after hitting a weak chip.
Heintzelman has lost several pounds through jogging and diet, which has "reduced my pulse rate. It was going up a little bit out there today, though. I was a little uneasy out there. I'm comfortable now and I'm looking forward to the final round."
Rentz, of Lanham, made five birdies, including one at the ninth hole where he chipped into the hole from 20 feet. The long hitter, who was the leading money winner on the National PGA Club Series last winter, says he will have ample opportunity in the final round because Chartwell features five par-5 holes.
Hughes was the second-leading money winner on the Middle Atlantic PGA Circuit last year despite going winless.