Bruce Lehnhard hopes he fares better in his next tournament appearance than in his last.
Lehnhard, head professional at Lake of the Woods Golf Club in Locust Grove, Va., shot 77-79156 for an early exit from the PGA Championship at Bellerive CC in St. Louis.
Now, Lehnhard will be the defending champion when play in the 65th annual Middle Atlantic Section PGA championship begins tomorrow in Williamsburg, Va. A field of 144 will open at Ford's Colony, then play the Gold and the Green courses at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club on succeeding days.
Although the play has been over the Ford's Colony and Golden Horseshoe Gold courses in the past, this marks the first year the spectacular Green layout has been used. Opened last fall, it is carved from rolling, wooded terrain -- water comes into play on six holes -- and will play at 7,120 yards to a par of 72.
In the words of architect Rees Jones: "It's rugged land, with a lot of ravines and draws. We carefully routed the course to take advantage of the topography. By avoiding the really rugged land, we were able to develop a course that combines different types of holes that fit the site. We tried to make it a shot maker's course."
Lehnhard has played the Williamsburg courses and says: "I don't think the Green Course is as hard as the Gold. The Gold is more challenging off the tee."
The MAPGA Player of the Year the past two seasons, Lehnhard && said Friday he had some work to do over the weekend. "Right now, I have to get my rhythm and timing back, plus my confidence. I'm not ticketed out until Monday morning, although I'm going to try and get back sooner. Here [the PGA], I never got untracked. I struck it poorly off the tee both days and had one birdie for the 36 holes."
Over the years, four players have won back-to-back MAPGA titles, but only current PGA Tour player Fred Funk of Laurel was able to win three in a row, a feat he pulled off in 1987-89. The others were Leo Walper, 1937-38; Lew Worsham, 1946-47, and Charlie Bassler, 1952-53 and 1959-60.
Larry Ringer, head professional at Prince George's CC, is one of six former champions in the field. A winner in 1979 and 1986, he is seeking to become the first to win the title in three decades. BTC Other past winners in the field are Mac Main Sr. (1974, 1977), David Jimenez (1976), Woody FitzHugh (1981, 1985), Chris Peddicord (1990) and Lehnhard.
Baltimorean Chris Peddicord, a teaching professional at Night Hawk Golf Center, smashed two tournament records when he shot a second-round 60 for a 36-hole total of 129 in winning the ninth annual Shrine Invitation event, conducted over two Virginia courses. The format called for the first round at the CC of Staunton and the second at Spotswood CC in Harrisonburg.
Peddicord, 30, who had opened with a 69, included an eagle and nine birdies in clipping four strokes off the previous single-round mark, and his 129 erased the previous standard of 136, set by Paul Gooden of CC Staunton last year.
This time, Gooden and Glen Miller of the Fort Washington Golf Center tied for second at 140, followed by Lehnhard of Locust Grove, Va., and Spotswood professional Jerry Klos, each at 141.
The winner had a chance at 59, but wound up two-putting his finalhole from 35 feet. Earlier, he had made three putts from beyond 25 feet.
Deadlines: Wednesday for United States Golf Association's Senior Amateur, to be held Oct. 19-24, The Loxahatchee Club, Jupiter, Fla.; Friday for Maryland State Golf Association's Senior championship to be held Sept. 4, Argyle Golf &CC; Aug. 26 for USGA's Women's Mid-Amateur, to be held Oct. 10-15, Old Marsh
Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
The Baltimore side will be the defending champion when the annual Women's Baltimore-Washington team match is held Friday at Argyle CC. Barbie Miller of Baltimore CC and Sue Sherwood of the Elkridge Club are the Baltimore co-captains responsible for selecting the team. . . . A conflict between the Women's Middle Atlantic Amateur and the Women's Maryland State Seniors has been resolved with the Middle Atlantic retaining its dates of Sept. 9-10 at Old South CC and the Maryland State moving its event at the Elkridge Club back a week to Sept. 17. . . . The Maryland State Golf Association has announced 105 entries for its Mid-Amateur championship, Aug. 24-25 at Woodmont CC.
This week's schedule
Tomorrow--Middle Atlantic Section PGA Championship, Ford's Colony, Williamsburg, Va., 7:30 a.m.; Free State Seniors (2-man team), Harbourtowne Golf Links, 10:45 a.m. Tuesday--Middle Atlantic Section PGA Championship, Golden Horseshoe (Gold Course), Williamsburg, Va., 7:30 a.m.; Women's Golf Association, Maryland Golf & CC, 9 a.m. Wednesday--Middle Atlantic PGA Championship, Golden Horseshoe (Green Course), 7:30 a.m. Friday--Middle Atlantic PGA Pro-Lady, Indian Spring CC, 7:30 a.m.; Women's Baltimore-Washington team match, Argyle CC, 9 a.m.