When Bob Kaestner defeated Phil Fairbanks on the first playoff hole of the 40th Baltimore City Amateur golf championship last Sunday at Chartwell Country Club, the victory took on added significance.
"What was exciting was being able to win the tournament and dedicate the win to George Taylor," said Kaestner, 32, after his triumph. He earned the decision with a regulation par at the par-5 first extra hole.
Taylor, a fixture on the Baltimore golf scene as a sportswriter and tournament administrator for more than 50 years before his death last April, was Kaestner's father-in-law and a staunch supporter of the event.
The tournament was conceived by (and is still under the direction of) Edward Johnston, along with Jack Emich, David Halle and Herbert Wagner, in 1955, and Taylor was involved, too, almost from the outset. "Having lasted for 40 years, I'd like to see the tournament run another 40," said Johnston, although admitting he did not think he'd be around that long.
Fairbanks, 24, a Hobbit's Glen member who had opened a three-stroke lead with a first-round 69, was three shots ahead of Kaestner going to the last nine holes of regulation. From there, Kaestner shot 1-under par and Fairbanks, 2 over. For the round, Kaestner added a second 72 for 144.
The victory was Kaestner's third in this tournament. He had also won in 1983 and 1992, both times at Sparrows Point CC. Maury Bailey and Doug Ballenger, with four wins each, are the only other ones with as many as three titles. Paul Celano, Joe Walter, Sheldon Kalish (fourth this time) and Henry Blue have each won twice.
"I was just trying to stay consistent," Kaestner said of his round. On the last few holes, I felt like a veteran because I had been there before. I thought I might have an edge because Phil was younger and had not been in that position before."
Fairbanks said: "I had the lead the whole way. I hit a lot of fairways and greens but nothing dropped. I didn't know where I stood until 14 [one ahead], and I admit I tightened up. He played well, and he outlasted me. It was a good experience."
Del Litman and Ed Klawansky, members at Turf Valley Country Club, have been playing in the pro-am tournament preceding the Buick Open for the last several years, drawing such pros as David Rummells and Andrew Magee. Last week, they hit the jackpot.
In one of the last matchups to be drawn, the two Baltimoreans and playing partners Richard Bauer and Richard Young were teamed with Paul Azinger, making his first competitive appearance since being diagnosed with cancer nine months ago. Azinger shot 71 on his own ball and the team had 61.
Jenny Chuasiriporn, of Timonium, one of the top Junior golfers in the country, has been selected to represent the East team in the fifth annual Canon Cup, tomorrow through Thursday, at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. The event pits 20 players (10 boys, 10 girls) from the East against counterparts from the West in a Ryder Cup-style format.
Chuasiriporn recently placed second to defending champion Grace Park, of Phoenix, Ariz., in the fifth annual Betsy Rawls Girls national championship in Wilmington, Del. Park, 15, shot 73-69142, and Chuasiriporn, 73-71144, in the tournament, which was shortened from 54 to 36 holes by rain.
The Easter Seal Society will be the beneficiary of a golf tournament being organized by Century 21 H.T. Brown Real Estate in Columbia. The event will be held Aug. 22 at Hobbit's Glen GC in Columbia. Call (410) 730-8888.
U.S. Women's Amateur
Andrea Kraus of Pikesville and Woodholme CC, reigning Metropolitan, Greiner and Maryland State Women's Amateur champion, will be one of four players with area ties in the field when on-site qualifying is held tomorrow and Tuesday at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. Match play will run Wednesday through Saturday. In addition to Kraus, last year's finalist, Sarah LeBrun Ingram, formerly of Owings Mills; Arantxa Sison of Arlington, Va.; and Jane Fitzgerald, a former Maryland State Women's Amateur titlist from Kensington, will also compete.
The eighth annual golf clinic for area Juniors at TPC-Avenel in Potomac will be held Sunday, beginning at noon. The three-hour program will include an appearance by trick-shot artist Dennis Walters and instructional aids by Middle Atlantic PGA members. Registration is available by calling (301) 469-3700.. . . . Entries for the women's two-player team tournament at Mount Pleasant GC are due by Friday. Information is available from (410) 254-5100. . . . Entries are still being taken for the 20th annual Harford County Seniors tournament, scheduled for Aug. 19 at Ruggles GC. Information is available at (410) 638-3853.
This week's schedule: Tomorrow -- Middle Atlantic PGA Pro-Senior, Willow Springs GC, 8 a.m. Tuesday -- Women's Golf Association championship (first round), Hillendale CC, 8 a.m. Wednesday -- Women's Golf Association championship (second round), Elkridge Club, 8 a.m. Thursday -- Middle Atlantic Juniors, Chartwell CC, 7:30 a.m. Friday -- Maryland State Father-Son championship, Green Spring VHC, 7:30 a.m.; Middle Atlantic PGA pro-am, Caroline CC, 8 a.m.