Thomas leads MAGA Amateur by 2

October 01, 1994|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Sun Staff Writer

A sole leader by two strokes, the first two sub-par rounds of the tournament and a hole-in-one were among the second-day happenings at the 93rd annual Amateur championship of the Middle Atlantic Golf Association over Baltimore Country Club's East Course yesterday.

Jeff Thomas, of Plainfield, N.J., who shared the first-round lead at 71, added a 72, and his 143 was two shots clear of four-time titlist Marty West III, of Rockville and Columbia CC, 75-70145, and Bob Vespa, a former area resident, now of Greensboro, N.C., who used the day's low round, a 2-under-par 68, to vault into contention after an opening 77.

Among others in the top half-dozen was Buddy Peoples, of Bowie and Crofton CC, with the other sub-par round, a 69, and a total of 147. Defending champion Barry McCarty had a hole-in-one at the ninth to turn in even par, then went double-bogey, bogey and ended up 77152.

Thomas, 35, last year's U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, birdied the fifth hole from six feet and had three bogeys for an outgoing 37, then returned with nine straight pars. West had five birdies, and such was the rest of his short game, he could miss the last four greens and shoot 1-under par with a chip-in birdie at the 16th hole.

Vespa, whose job selling chemicals brought him to Baltimore from 1980 to 1986, and then sent him to Greensboro, started with a bogey, turned 1 over, then ran off four successive birdies beginning at No. 10, sandwiching three-foot putts around a downhill 35-footer and a 20-footer.

"It was kind of a fluke," he said, "because I had four 3-putts yesterday [Thursday] and another this time."

Greg Bisconti, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., and Tim Dilli, of Towson and Hunt Valley GC, had shared the first-round lead at 71, but slipped back, Bisconti with 75146 and Dilli with 80151.

The leaders: Jeff Thomas, Plainfield, N.J., 71-72143; Marty West III, Rockville, 75-70145; Bob Vespa, Greensboro, N.C., 77-68145; Greg Bisconti, Mt. Vernon, N.Y., 71-75146; Doug Ballenger, Evans, Ga., 73-74147; Buddy Peoples, Bowie, 78-69147; Mark Lyons, Glendale Heights, 73-75148; Malcolm Smith, Huntington, N.Y., 76-73149; Joel Kaye, Owings Mills, 75-74149; Jim Castagna, Sandy Spring, 73-76149; Claudio DeLuca, Washington, 73-76149; Allen Barber, Yorktown, Va., 72-77149; Pat Tallent, Vienna, Va., 73-76149; Mike Cox, Lusby, 78-72150; Vince Zachetti, Greensburg, Pa., 72-78150; Eric Kirsch, Steubenville, Ohio, 76-74150; Shane Patterson, 77-73150; Ned Steiner, Roseland, N.J., 73-77150; Graeme Skeen, Johannesburg, South Africa, 73-78151; Tim Dilli, Towson, 71-80151; Bobby Bilbo, Olney, 78-73151; John Baldwin, New York, 76-75151; J. R. Shasteen, Gaithersburg, 77-75152; Larry Storck, Baltimore, 76-76152; John Baer, Woodbridge, Conn., 77-75152; John Cuomo, Richmond, Va., 81-71152; Philip Gutterman, Melville, N.Y., 76-76152; Scott Ingram, Springfield, Va., 76-76152; Barry McCarty, Alexandria, Va., 75-77152; Bucky Erhardt, Wilmington, Del., 78-75153; Joe Records, Timonium, 77-76153; Matt Margolies, Lutherville, 77-76153; Jon Price, Chantilly, Va., 75-78153.

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