Lentz coasts to 5-shot victory in Fall Publinx

Birdie on No. 1 starts way to second title

September 17, 2001|By SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Bob Lentz, backed by a four-stroke cushion, birdied the first hole and went on to a relaxed five-shot victory in the annual Fall Publinx Championship at Forest Park Golf Course yesterday.

Lentz, the 1998 champion, finished with a 1-over-par 72 and a 36-hole total of 139.

In a playoff for second place, Towson University freshman Chris Baloga hit a sand wedge shot to 18 inches and the ensuing birdie at the first extra hole to thwart defending champion Charlie Narciso. Each shot 71.

"I knew I could not get off to a bad start," Lentz, 36, said. "The birdie really helped, even though, overall, I did not play as well as I did Saturday." Saturday, his 4-under-par total was the only sub-par effort at Mount Pleasant GC.

In the first flight, Brendan Shea, who had won the two previous Spring Publinx second fight titles, came away a winner in his first start at the next level. His birdie on the first playoff hole beat Mark Joyner and Michael Dreyer. They had tied at 157.

For the day, Al Medlin, Greg Ruark, and Jeff Rhyne had 1-under-par 70s in the championship flight.

Championship leaders: Bob Lentz 67-72-139; Chris Baloga 73-71-144; Charlie Narciso 73-71-144; Jeff Rhyne 76-70-146; Jim Hickey 71-75-146; Ross Elberg 72-75-147; A. J. Bachmann 77-71-148; Brendan McKinney 78-71-149; Greg Ruark 79-70-149; Blair Laubach 78-71-149. First Flight: Brendan Shea 79-78-157; Mark Joyner 79-78-157; Michael Dreyer 81-76-157; Mark Muneses 82-76-158; David Nelson 77-81-158. Second flight: Anthony Stepney 82-80-162; Dale Williams, Jr., 83-80-163; Gary Ryan 86-78--164. Third flight: (gross) Ron Bane 85-8-168. (net) David Konig 170-28-142.

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