Kaestner fires 68, runs away with 9-shot City Amateur win


Bob Kaestner turned the 41st annual Baltimore City Amateur Invitation championship into a record-setting one-man show yesterday. The Baltimore Country Club member, playing his club's West Course, posted a 4-under-par 68 for a 36-hole total of 139, a record nine shots ahead of his closest challengers.

Such was Kaestner's control of his shot-making that he played the last 30 holes without a bogey. Saturday, he had two early bogeys, and three birdies, then four birdies in his second tour for 71-68 over the par 36-3672 course.

As a four-time champion (over the past 12 years), Kaestner joins Maury Bailey, who won four of the first six titles, and Doug Ballenger, four wins in a 12-year span, at that level. Those three, plus Joe Walter and Henry Blue, are the only ones with successive victories.

The defending champion left little doubt it would take a superb effort to beat him after rifling shots at the pins on Nos. 7-8, setting up birdies from two feet and six feet. His other two came from two feet at the 12th and 15 feet at the 14th.

It was fairways and greens for Kaestner, as he drove it straight, and missed only two greens in regulation yesterday after missing three Saturday.

"I was in command of my game," Kaestner said.

Charlie Narciso, the two-time Baltimore Municipal Public Links champion from Mount Pleasant Golf Course, collected second place after parring the second extra hole of a playoff with Joey Chuasiriporn. The two improved dramatically the second day to tie at 148. Narciso had the tournament's only sub-par round, 71, other than Kaestner's, and Chuasiriporn closed with 72.

Mike Larson had 73149 for fourth place. Failure of four of the top six pursuers at the start of the round to shoot better than 78 (the others were at 76) helped account for the one-man race.

Adrian Druzgala, a past runner-up in this event, was in position to challenge again. A former U.S. Amateur qualifier from Hobbit's Glen, he bogeyed three of the first four holes, then dipped 2-under par through the next 12, before stumbling to a bogey, double-bogey finish for 76151.

Bob Kaestner 71-68-139; x-Charlie Narciso 77-71-148; Joey Chuasiriporn 76-72-148; Mike Larson 76-73-149; Rick Sovero 77-73-150; Mickey Abrams 76-74-150; Doug Wilson 74-76-150; Andy Pataki 72-78-150; David Nocar 72-78-150; Larry Flowers 76-75-151; Adrian Druzgala 75-76-151; Tom Lynn 77-75-152; Sheldon Kalish 78-74-152; Tim Dilli 77-76-153; Nick Angelo 74-79-153; Jay Stosz 72-81-153.

Serge Hogg 72-82-154; Henry Blue 74-80-154; David Kaplan 78-76-154; Jim Cobb 77-78-155; Richard Klein 75-81-156; Bob Lee 76-80-156; Tim Carr 77-79-156; Lee Martinson 79-80-159; Bob Atwell 77-83-160; Bob Lang 74-86-160; Bob Bonnell 80-81-161; Tim Walko 80-86-166; Paul Dittmer 80-87-167; Dennis Hresko 80-93-173.

x-won playoff for second place.

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