For the Bilbos and Dorns, the 74th annual Maryland Open is a family affair.
While defending champion Wayne DeFrancesco took a one-shot lead with a 67 for a two-round 139 yesterday at Chartwell Country Club, Bobby Bilbo and his father, Bob, and brothers Brian and David Dorn were battling not only the field, but also each other. The Dorns' father, Dave, was on hand to watch the fun.
Bobby Bilbo, a junior-to-be at Maryland and one of the Terps' top golfers, is in a three-way tie for second at 140 after a 68. His father, the head pro at Argyle Country Club in Silver Spring, is in a four-man bunch at 144 after a 70.
"Are we competitive? You betcha," Bob said. "We have friendly bets. Seems whatever I shoot, he cuts it by one or two."
In Bobby's early years, his father was his only coach. It wasn't until last year that Bobby started to beat him consistently. When Bobby made the Maryland Open cut last summer and Bob missed by one, the senior Bilbo got the message.
"I think he's going to beat Dad again," Bob said while his son was still carving his 68.
"I used to have kind of a block when I played him," Bobby said. "When I began beating him consistently, it helped my confidence."
Brian Dorn, 27, an assistant pro at the Naval Academy, is at 144 after a 68, the best tournament round of his five-year pro career. He needed only 12 putts on the back nine.
a,5 David Dorn, two years older, trails his brother by two after a pair of 73s. The assistant pro at Woodmont Country Club, he, like Brian, is a graduate of Laurel High and Maryland.
Needling Brian, David said, "He's more competitive than I am. Being the younger brother, he wants to one-up me. It usually doesn't happen -- although it did today."
DeFrancesco's 67 was the best round of the day on the Chartwell Country Club course. And it was his best of the year.
"Solid -- no bogeys, missed only two greens," DeFrancesco said. "Five or six putts between 10 and 15 feet didn't go in, but I did make a 35-footer on 17."
The top amateur finishers yesterday were Bobby Bilbo and Kirk Lombardi of Norbeck Country Club, the first-round leader who added a 73 to his opening 67.
There have been virtually no complaints about the condition of the Chartwell course or the conduct of the tournament. Brian Dorn described the greens as "perfect."
"Because of the efforts of Chartwell's members and staff," said Randy Reed, president of the Maryland State Golf Association, "this has been one of the smoothest running Maryland Opens ever."
For today's final round, the field has been cut to 41 (scores of 149 or lower). Prize money is $4,500 for first place, $2,750 for second and $1,900 for third.