West makes amateur his again

June 21, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

ROCKVILLE -- Marty West III of Columbia Country Club ended a nine-year title drought and kept his final-round record unblemished in the 73rd annual men's amateur championship of the Maryland State Golf Association yesterday.

West forged a lead when he won three holes in a row midway through the morning round and was not headed in beating Larry Storck of the Country Club of Maryland, 4 and 2, in their scheduled 36-hole final at Manor Country Club.

From 1973 through 1983, West reached the championship round seven times and came away with seven titles. For the past nine years, however, he had been conspicuous by his absence -- for a variety of reasons -- from the final match.

Then, for several hours yesterday, West, three weeks shy of his 45th birthday, reached back and found some of those old shots. This was particularly true off the tee, as he drove the ball as well as he ever has, hitting 22 fairways on the 26 driving holes, the last 15 in succession, including all 12 in the afternoon round, when he also hit all but two greens in regulation.

Storck, 33, was close but never in control of the match for much of the day. He fashioned two key highlights.

The current CC of Maryland club champion got a conceded birdie-2 at the 11th hole in the morning to go 2-up, and he holed a 74-yard sand wedge shot for an eagle-3 at the 15th in the afternoon to stave off elimination, prolonging the match for one more hole.

West turned around the two-hole deficit in the afternoon. He birdied the 12th from 4 feet, won the 13th with a par and went in front with two magnificent shots -- a 175-yard 6-iron out of the rough and a 20-foot birdie putt -- at the 14th.

In a matter of moments, Storck's margin had slipped away, not to be retrieved.

Of that stretch, West said: "I knew I had to get my game going. I felt fortunate to get through that first nine no worse than 1 down, because you have to steer so many shots. On the back nine, I felt comfortable and was swinging through the ball."

West struggled with his putter (32 strokes in the morning) but seemed to find the touch when he needed it most. A 35-footer at the 18th green produced a winning birdie, sent him to lunch 2-up and "kept the pressure on him."

Storck took care of some of that pressure when he knocked in an 8-foot birdie putt at the first hole of the afternoon round, but two West birdies sent him 3-up through 25 holes. There was an exchange of holes before West knocked his tee shot into water fronting the green at the 11th to give his foe a sliver of hope.

That hope was promptly crushed when Storck lipped out what would have been a winning 6-foot birdie putt at the 12th, and West went on to win the next two holes for a 4-up cushion.

"I had seen some of Larry's earlier play and knew he would be tough," West said.

Storck cited some poor putting in the morning round ("Half of them I misread and half of them I left short") for not being able to capitalize on some erratic play by West.

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