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179 players vie for 9 spots in amateur championships


Wakefield Valley Golf Club in Westminster and Indian Spring CC in Silver Spring will be the sites for area qualifying in the U.S. Amateur championship this week.

There will be 83 players for four places tomorrow at Wakefield Valley, and 96 for five spots at Indian Spring Tuesday. In each case qualifying will be over 36 holes.

These entries helped swell the national total to a record 5,758 -- all with handicap indexes of 3.4 or lower -- for the 92nd championship to be conducted Aug. 25-30 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. The previous standard of 4,987 entries was set last year.

Twelve players are exempt from sectional qualifying (72 sites across the country), including defending champion Mitch Voges. Those who are not exempt will compete for the remaining 298 places in 36-hole on-site qualifying at Muirfield Village.

Assistants' championship

Skeeter Heath won the trophy and the first-place check; Jay Standard won the spot in the national championship; and Chris Peddicord settled for a check as the result of their sudden-death playoff in last week's Middle Atlantic PGA Assistants' championship at Montgomery CC in Laytonsville.

Heath works at Ford's Colony in his native Williamsburg, Va., and Peddicord teaches at the Night Hawk Golf Center in Gambrills, but because of their employment status and PGA rules, neither is eligible for the National PGA Assistants' championship, due Sept. 22-25 at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.

As a result, Standard will represent the Middle Atlantic Section at the national championship. Former MAPGA titlists Fred Funk, Webb Heintzelman and Mike West went on to win the national title. This time, West, from Farmington CC, tied for eighth on 137.

The three leaders had outlasted a 180-man field in the 36-hole section championship, finishing at 6-under-par 134. On the second day, Heath birdied the last hole from 25 feet for 65; Standard included an eagle in his 67; and Peddicord had five birdies in putting up 66.

Heath birdied the first playoff hole after missing the green and chipping close at the par-5 test. The other two reached the green in two, then three-putted. Heath collected $3,700 from the $24,000 purse, while the other two split $4,175.

Each year, the tournament purse is mainly dependent upon funds raised by the assistants through golf marathons at their clubs, with a portion of the proceeds going to the March of Dimes.

CC of Maryland

The feature color at the Country Club of Maryland this summer is green instead of dirt-brown, as a new computerized automatic double-row watering system has transformed the Stevenson Road golf course from its rock-hard, burned-out look of previous summers to the more traditional look of tees, fairways and greens.

Course superintendent Paul O'Leary has the responsibility of overseeing and maintaining the playability of this acreage, but the course is only one of several noticeable improvements to the overall physical plant.

These are due in part to the efforts of Rick Berndt and Mark Keener, representing the ownership, as they have been receptive to suggestions by the club's board of governors, giving the club a solid foundation on which to build for the future.


There are 60 entries for the 36-hole Women's Golf AssociatioStroke Play championship this week. . . . This week's Nordlinger Cup, the annual Junior championship sponsored and conducted the Middle Atlantic PGA, has 46 qualifiers for play at Mount Vernon CC. . . . Gary Carpenter (74-70144) of Crofton CC and Jenny Chuasiriporn (84-78162) of Hunt Valley were the respective Boys' and Girls' winners in the PGA Junior qualifying tournament and will represent the Middle Atlantic Section in the national tournament the end of the month. Chuasiriporn won a sudden-death playoff against April Hardesty on the first extra hole. . . . John Fink of Chestnut Ridge is among the new members of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Golf Course Superintendents.

This week's schedule

Tomorrow--U.S. Amateur qualifying, Wakefield Valley GC, 7 a.m.; Rums of Puerto Rico, Hunt Valley GC, 8 a.m. Tuesday--U.S. Amateur qualifying, Indian Spring CC, 7 a.m.; Women's Golf Association Stroke Play Championship, Chestnut Ridge CC, 8 a.m. Wednesday--Women's Golf Association Stroke Play Championship, Green Spring VHC, 8 a.m. Thursday--Nordlinger Cup (Middle Atlantic PGA Juniors), Mount Vernon CC, 7 a.m. Friday--Maryland State Father-Son, Chestnut Ridge CC, 8 a.m.

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