Lombardi leads the way in stroke play


Kirk Lombardi, a two-time Maryland State Amateur champion from Gaithersburg, jumped ahead of the field with a bogey-free 4-under 34-33 - 67 in the opening round of the 38th annual Maryland Amateur Stroke Play championship at Mount Pleasant Golf Course.

More than half of the 126 players were no worse than 76 in the tournament.

Three local standouts - Brendan McKinney and Chris Baloga (Mount Pleasant), and Henry Blue (Green Spring) - were at 69, followed by Moose Brown and Larry Storck (Hayfields), Joe Records (Hillendale) and Ki Moon (Waverly Woods).

Lombardi, who plays out of Montgomery Village, and has won just about every area title but this one, had two birdies on each nine. McKinney had five birdies, including four on putts of less than 3 feet in a solid round. Blue and Baloga had three birdies apiece.

Baloga, half of the winning team in the most recent two-man show, birdied the 10th to go 2-under, then closed with eight straight pars on the 6,726-yard, par-71 course.

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