BETHESDA -- On her way here from the Oldsmobile Classic i East Lansing, Mich., Betsy King stopped in Chicago for a golf lesson.
Despite a tie for fifth in the Oldsmobile Classic, despite finishing in the top five in three of her past four tournaments, despite six top-five finishes this year, King wanted a lesson from her teacher, Ed Oldfield.
"I decided this year I wouldn't go more than two or three weeks without a lesson," said King, who today will open defense of her $1 million Mazda LPGA Championship at Bethesda Country Club. "That way, if I do develop a problem, I won't have it very long before we do something about it."
After winning here last year by 11 strokes for her fifth major title, King finished the season with two more victories. She has yet to win this year, although she does have three seconds, the last in the Lady Keystone Open last month in Hershey, Pa.
Lopez without Knight
Ray Knight, Nancy Lopez's husband, will miss the tournament. A former major-leaguer who played third base one season for the Orioles, Knight recently joined the Cincinnati Reds as a hitting instructor.
"I'm going to miss him outside the ropes, that's for sure," Lopez said.
Geddes wants to revisit '87
When Jane Geddes won the Oldsmobile Classic, it was her first victory since 1991 and only third since 1987, when she captured five tournaments, including the LPGA.
"I won so much that year I thought I was invincible," Geddes said. "Every time I teed it up, I thought I'd win. I wrote in my diary, 'I can't believe I'm so great, I hope it never goes away.' "
It did, and to this day Geddes isn't sure why.
"Maybe I got caught up in the 'poor me' syndrome," she said. "I didn't work hard enough to get it back, especially the mental part. If I had a year now like I had in 1987 I'd appreciate it 10 times more."
In keeping with this tournament's tradition, Hall of Famer Louise Suggs will hit the ceremonial first ball at 7 a.m. today. . . . This is the fourth time Bethesda CC has staged the LPGA Championship. . . . . Nicki LeRoux has withdrawn from the championship because of a back injury, to be replaced by Heather Drew.