Thomas leads Amateur despite third-round 75

October 02, 1994|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Sun Staff Writer

The East Course at Baltimore Country Club, drier and faster than through the first two rounds, once again humbled the field assembled for the 93rd annual Middle Atlantic Golf Association Amateur championship. Only seven players broke 75, and the third-round average for 67 players was 78.38.

That makes more plausible the fact Jeff Thomas, not out of first place through the first two rounds, could shoot 5-over-par 75 and still be in front. "No putts, no birdies," Thomas, of Plainfield, N.J., said of a round that left him at 218 heading into this morning's final 18 holes.

That was one stroke ahead of Mark Lyons of suburban Chicago, who jumped over five players to grab second place with 71219, the low round of a day that began overcast but turned warm and sunny through the afternoon. Bob Vespa, of Greensboro, N.C., also had 75, and stayed two back of Thomas at 220.

Four-time champion Marty West III of Rockville began the round tied with Vespa, but an out-going 41 that included double-bogeys at the fifth and ninth set him back. He recovered for 36, but the damage had been done and he was alone at 222.

Vespa had one birdie, but had a double-bogey at the 15th. "The course played tough, but it was fun, and we played fast. And I think we [he and playing companion Thomas] were eyeing each other, too."

Lyons, 28, a building materials salesman, had three birdies and four bogeys in his trip over the 6,680-yard course. The birdies came on a chip-in at the second hole and putts of a foot at the eighth and 6 feet at the 10th. Two of his bogeys were three-putts.

"Our season at home is about over and I wanted to get in another tournament," he said of his entry.

Final-round qualifiers: Jeff Thomas 71-72-75218; Mark Lyons 73-75-71219; Bob Vespa 77-68-75220; Marty West III 75-70-77222; Ned Steiner 73-77-73223; John Baldwin 76-75-73224; Eric Kirsch 76-74-74224; Claudio DeLuca 73-76-75224; Doug Ballenger 73-74-77224; Buddy Peoples 78-69-77224; Greg Bisconti 71-75-78224; Vince Zachetti 72-78-75225; Adrian Druzgala 80-74-72226; Graeme Skeen 73-78-75226; Pat Tallent 73-76-77226; Malcolm Smith 76-73-78227; Jim Castagna 73-76-78227; Shane Patterson 77-73-78228; Bucky Erhardt 78-75-76229; Barry McCarty 75-77-77229.

Jack Vardaman 76-81-73230; Bob Kaestner 76-79-75230; Steve Hall 77-77-76230; John Price 75-78-77230; Philip Gutterman 76-76-78230; Mike Cox 78-72-80230; Sheldon Kalish 80-78-73231; Henry Blue 78-77-76231; Tim Dilli 71-80-80231; David Oakley Joe Records 77-76-79232; Brooks Carey 75-79-79233; Matt Margolies 77-76-80233; Larry Storck 76-76-81233; Bobby Bilbo 78-73-82233; Ben Brundred 81-73-79233; Jim Heidel 78-78-77233; Peter Martin 76-79-78233; Chuck Freedman 75-79-80234; Richard Klein 80-78-76234; Allen Barber 72-77-85234.

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