If his position after the first round of last year's Baltimore City Amateur Championship is any indication, Bob Kaestner has a good chance to repeat.
Three shots behind the leader entering the second and final round, the Baltimore Country Club golfer shot a 71 to win.
Kaestner's 73 yesterday at Bonnie View Country Club leaves him three behind Matt Margolis and Adrian Druzgala going into today's final round.
Clearly, Kaestner is very much in contention.
"I hit better than I have all year," Kaestner said. "I hit 16 greens and missed four putts inside three feet."
This year's tournament has special meaning for Dave Kaplan and Howard Swartz, both of whom shot 72.
Kaplan, 28, is fresh off a victory in the Bonnie View club tournament, an event he has won 10 of the past 11 years.
"There's more pressure for me here than there would have been at other places," Kaplan said. "It's different playing in front of the club members.
"I didn't sleep at all last [Friday] night. If I can shoot, say, a 68 tomorrow [today], that might win it. That would give me a lot of confidence going into the U.S. Amateur qualifying in two weeks."
Swartz won this tournament 26 years ago at Turf Valley when he was 19. He hasn't won it since, but he hasn't played every year.
Kaplan started yesterday as if he were en route to a handsome score, playing the first 12 holes in 1-under par.
"Then I drove into a tree on 13 and got a bogey and missed the green on the 110-yard No. 16 for another bogey," he said.
Swartz reckoned that his 72 was "OK, sort of up and down."
He had three birdies and three bogeys on the front nine and had eight pars and one bogey on the back nine.
Yesterday's field included 49 players from 22 clubs.
The field was trimmed to 32.
The final group of Margolis, Druzgala, Mike Rethman and Kaplan will go off today at 2:10 p.m.
Baltimore Country Club member Ed Johnston conceived the idea of the Baltimore City Amateur and, with the help of Jack Emich, Dave Halle and Herb Wagner, staged the inaugural in 1955.
The tournament is for club champions and runners-up in the greater Baltimore area, previous winners of the event, qualifiers of most recent USGA open or amateur tournaments and top finishers in state and regional championships.
"We modeled it after the Masters," Johnston said. "Eligibility is limited to area golfers who have accomplished something significant in golf in the preceding year."
The sterling silver bowl which bears the names of the winners was purchased for $250 in 1955 and was appraised 10 years ago, when the price of silver was at a peak, at $3,500 for insurance purposes.
"Jack, Herb and I each put up $83.33 for the bowl," Johnston said. "Come to think of it, I think I put up the extra penny, $83.34."
Adrian Druzgala, Hobbits Glen, 36-3470; Matt Margolis, Hillendale, 37-3370; Mike Rethman, Hobbits Glen, 36-3571; Dave Kaplan, Bonnie View, 35-3772; Howard Swartz, Piney Branch, 35-3772; Sheldon Kalish, 36-3672; Frank Sanzaro, Hunt Valley, 36-3773; Charles Harris, Maryland, 34-3973; Bob Kaestner, Baltimore, 36-3773; Charles Narcisco, Forest Park, 35-3873; Rick Burns, Clifton Park, 35-3974; Bob Atwell, Hillendale, 36-3874; Tony Narcisco, Forest Park, 36-3874.
Mike Steinhardt, Bonnie View, 39-3675; Paul Naumann, Towson Golf, 38-3775; Peter Martin, Green Spring, 36-3975; Mike Steinhardt, Bonnie View, 39-3675; Jeff Fick, Sparrows Point, 37-3976; Bob Slaght, Rolling Road, 39-3776; Ricky Sovero, Rolling Road, 39-3776; Steve Sutton, Hobbits Glen, 38-3876; Henry Blue, Green Spring, 40-3777; Doug Dollenberg, Baltimore, Willie Smith, Forest Park, 39-3978; Louis Wright, Forest Park, 38-4078; David Nocar, Chartwell, 37-4178; Pat O'Malley, Baltimore, 38-4078.
Dave Dembert, Suburban, 39-4079; H. T. Brown, Towson Golf, 43-3679; Bob Bonnell, Elkridge, 42-3779; Tony Solesky, Clifton Park, 38-4179; Doug Wilson, Hobbits Glen, 40-3979; Dick Irvin, Hillendale, 39-4079; Ely Nash, Hobbits Glen, 41-3980; Bob Lang, Maryland, 40-4080; Terry Mayer, Woodholme, 40-4181; Guy Phelan, Sparrows Point, 41-4081.
Mark Farrell, Hunt Valley, 38-4381; Jim Reilman, Hunt Valley, 41-4081; Wayne Wright, Hobbits Glen, 43-3881; Mike Duffy, Rolling Road, 38-4381; Russ Hudson, Pine Ridge, 40-4282; Bill Riggs, Rolling Road, 38-4583; Jack Martonick, Pine Ridge, 43-4083; Tim Carr, Turf Valley, 41-4384; Tom Seibel, Rock Point, 43-4184; Jim Wells, Diamond Ridge, 41-4384; Art Nilsen, Longview, 44-4690; Bryan Meyer, Clifton Park, 46-4591.