Kirk Lombardi, a free-spirited player with a wealth of tournament experience, won on the 18th, and collegian Bobby Bilbo on the 17th, to reach today's championship match in the 75th annual Maryland State Amateur tournament at the Elkridge Club.
Norbeck CC member Lombardi, the 1988 champion and a losing finalist last year, had eight birdies during yesterday's two rounds, but none was bigger than the conceded one he got at the 18th green after spinning an 80-yard wedge shot within two feet of the cup against Pat Tallent, another former finalist from Congressional CC.
Bilbo, a University of Maryland senior who plays out of Cattail Creek CC, won the 16th and 17th holes to get past Mike Watson of Lakewood CC, 2 and 1.
In morning action, Lombardi threw five birdies at Kevin Moylan, and was 4-under par in running off with a 6-and-5 victory, and Bilbo took six straight front-nine holes from 1992 titlist Dave Rasley to set up a 5-and-4 triumph.
"I lost my swing on a couple of holes coming in, but overall I played well," Lombardi said of the match between two of the state's best players, and a rematch of a quarterfinal last year, won by Lombardi, 2 and 1. "My wedge play was phenomenal, and my putting was good."
While Lombardi was making a bunch of birdies, Bilbo was making only two, but one got him even at the ninth. After taking the 16th, he had a two-putt par at the 17th that turned out good when Watson went over the green and failed to save par.
Where Lombardi carried his own bag for a third straight day (he said he plays better that way), Bilbo had college teammate Miguel Rivera, a first-round loser here, carrying for him. It was easy to see why Lombardi would admit to being exhausted, and Bilbo said he felt good afterward.
"I need to work on my putting, though," said Bilbo, who had no birdies in his morning round.
A potential morning battle between Tallent and eight-time winner Marty West III never materialized after Tallent won Nos. 2, 3 and 4, and strung together pars.
Quarterfinals: Bob Bilbo, Cattail Creek, def. Dave Rasley, Lakewood, 5 and 4; Mike Watson, Lakewood, def. Mike Benner, Patuxent Greens, 1 up; Kirk Lombardi, Norbeck, def. Kevin Moylan, Argyle, 6 and 5; Pat Tallent, Congressional, def. Marty West III, 4 and 2.
Semifinals: Bilbo def. Watson, 2 and 1; Lombardi def. Tallent, 1 up.
Pub Date: 6/16/96