Once Jamie Childs, assistant professional at Queenstown Harbor, got over his nervousness in the first few holes, his biggest problem in last week's local qualifier for the U.S. Open was in handling the hills at Eagle's Nest.
The combination of an Eastern Shore background, playing maybe once a week, and usually riding, made walking the 36-hole route more than a little tiring for Childs. Regardless of finishing on either No. 9 or No. 18, it meant an uphill climb.
Still, Childs shot rounds of par 72-72--144 and earned one of nine available places in next month's sectional round. Six of the players, including Childs, will play June 7, at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville. For various reasons, the remaining three chose other sectional sites, providing they qualified.
This marks the first time Childs, 29, has made it out of a local, as he missed in his only other attempt five years ago.
This time, he said that once he rolled putts well on the first couple of holes, he knew he'd be OK. Whether it would be good enough was another question.
As it developed, the difference between success and failure came late in the day, as he birdied two of his last four holes. Starting at No. 10, he wound up knocking his ball inside of three feet at the sixth and seventh holes, then parred his last two.
"I'm striking the ball tee-to-green extremely well right now, and I putted well, but it still takes some luck," Childs said. "After all, I chipped in twice for birdies, once in each round."
The day might have been equally tough on Childs' wife, Betsy, as she caddied for her husband. The couple lives in Easton with their baby daughter.
Childs, an Easton native, served assistantships at the Naval Academy Golf Club (where, he says, Larry Ringer, club professional at the time, really helped him and taught him a lot) and Talbot CC, before going to Queenstown when it opened 2 1/2 years ago.
The Maryland State Golf Association will hold concurrent qualifying for its men's State Amateur and State Open at two sites tomorrow: Chestnut Ridge CC, where there are 153 entries; and Norbeck CC, where there are 156 entries.
This marks the second year for pre-tournament qualifying for the Amateur, and the first year for the Open, a format made necessary by the large number of entries.
The Amateur, with an 18-hole on-site qualifying round scheduled as usual to determine the 32-man match-play field, will be held June 17-20 at Manor CC; and the Open, a 54-hole stroke play event, will be July 12-14 at Crofton CC.
The Washington area's local U.S. Open qualifier will be held tomorrow at the CC of Woodmore. Among the 72 entries vying for six places will be amateur Jeff Rhyne of Catonsville and pros Don Slebodnik of Columbia, Mark Spolarich of Crofton, and Chris Peddicord of Annapolis, who comes in off a third place in a recent Nike Tour event. . . . Entry deadlines include June 2 for the USGA's Senior Open and Public Links championships. The Senior Open will be held July 8-11 at Cherry Hills CC in Englewood, Colo., and the Publinx in Brighton, Colo. . . . Deadlines for Baltimore Municipal Golf Corp. events include June 4 for the Publinx championship, June 19-20, at Mount Pleasant GC and Forest Park GC; and June 14 for Russ Menta Memorial Scholarship applications. Applications also are being accepted for Junior camps, June 21-25 and July 12-16.
Justin Klein, of Hunt Valley, shot a 54-hole total of 216 in the East Regional, helping Duke qualify for the NCAA tournament, but among those missing out were Tripp Shreaves of Bethesda and the University of Virginia (218) and Brian Slevin of Arnold and the University of Georgia (224) after three rounds over the University of Virginia's Birdwood course. . . . Besides tomorrow's qualifying programs, other events on this week's schedule include the 10th annual Catonsville Community College Foundation tournament tomorrow at Turf Valley CC, with Fred Funk as the guest host; the weekly Women's Golf Association tournament Tuesday at Bonnie View CC and the Elkridge Club; and the annual Elkridge-Green Spring member-guest, with play at Green Spring Saturday, and Elkridge on Sunday.