Joe Franz IV of the host Country Club of Maryland birdied the 17th hole and went on to capture the 37th annual Baltimore City Amateur Invitation tournament yesterday.
Franz, 24, winning his first major title, shot a second straight 71 and finished with a 2-over-par total of 142.
First-round leader David Kaplan of Bonnie View Country Club and Doug Jacobs of Piney Branch Golf Course, dueled Franz on the back nine after they forged a three-way tie at the 12th green. All parred each of the next four holes.
At No. 17, a treacherous 182-yard hole with the green guarded by trees left and right, the pin was set back right.
Jacobs and Kaplan found the trees. Franz, well aware of the trouble, hit a high cut 3-iron shot that turned into the green and stopped 10 feet from the pin and just short of going over the back edge. He rolled in the putt and had a cushion when Jacobs bogeyed the hole and Kaplan made a double bogey.
At the 18th, Franz sealed the decision when a 9-iron approach shot carried a front bunker and stopped 20 feet away. Jacobs had a chance to clinch second, but rolled a 2-foot putt past the cup.
Jacobs shot 73-72--145 and Kaplan, 69-76--145. Earlier, Adrian Druzgala of Hobbit's Glen, the runner-up the past two years, had used the day's best round, 70, to total 145.
In a playoff for the second-place silver bowl, Jacobs won with pars at the first two holes. Druzgala went out at the first hole and Kaplan bogeyed the second.
Franz's round included birdies at three of the four par-3 holes, but the champion, who works in the golf shop at the Elkridge Club, cited the 257-yard 12th hole as the turning point.
He put an approach shot down over the back of the green, a no-man's land as far as he was concerned.
"I was really lucky," he said. "I got the ball to the top of the hill and it trickled down to 3 feet and I made the putt. I was dumb for going over in the first place, but I got lucky."
Joe Franz IV, CC Maryland, 71-71--142; Adrian Druzgala, Hobbit's Glen, 75-70--145; Doug Jacobs, Piney Branch, 73-72--145; David Kaplan, Bonnie View, 69-76--145; Larry Storck, CC Maryland, 73-73--146; Pat O'Malley, Baltimore CC, 75-72--147; Joel Kaye, Woodholme, 76-73--149; Tim Dilli, Hunt Valley, 75-74-- 149; Bob Lutz, Hobbit's Glen, 75-74--149; Henry Blue, Green Spring, 77-73--150; Charles Harris, CC Maryland, 74-76--150; Steve Bozel, Sparrows Point, 78-74-- 152; David Nocar, Chartwell, 75-77--152; Jim Pelisek, Sparrows Point, 74-79-- 153; Wayne Gailey, Piney Branch, 75-78--153.
John Bartholomew, CC Maryland, 81-74-155; Bill Dornbusch, CC Maryland, 81-74 --155; Bob Kaestner, Baltimore CC, 80-75--155; Frank Sanzaro, Hunt Valley, 78-78 --156; Scott Pugatch, Suburban, 78-78--156; Al Mank, CC Maryland, 77-79--156; Dick Irvin, Hillendale, 76-80--156; Willie Smith, Forest Park, 79-79--158; William McLean, Elkridge, 78-80--158; Jack Russell, Pine Ridge, 78-84-162; Bob Lang, CC Maryland, 77-86-163; Ray Daue, Hunt Valley, 81-85--166; Mike Lewis, Pine Ridge, 79-87--166; Peter Martin, Green Spring, 77-NC; Dennis Wells, Chartwell, 79-NC; Sheldon Kalish, Woodholme, 79-WD.