One of the nice things about golf is the player never knows what will happen during any given round. One would like to think it will be all good, but the realist knows that won't happen.
That's the way it was with Lance Poe last week. Poe, an assistant professional at the Elkridge Club, was going along with what he considered a ho-hum round in the Middle Atlantic PGA Pro-Senior tournament at Longview Golf Course when it got a lot more interesting.
It had started out great, but deteriorated a bit in the middle. Starting at No. 10, Poe was 3-under-par after seven holes, but bogeyed the 17th and parred the 18th for 33. When he bogeyed the second to slip back to 1-under, he admittedly was just going through the motions.
Beginning at No. 5, they were all the right motions.
At that 120-yard hole, he struck a 9-iron shot to a foot from the cup. Birdie. At No. 6, a 473-yard par 5, it was driver, 3-wood to three feet. Eagle. Nos. 7-8-9 -- birdie-birdie-birdie. The result was a 30 and a round of 7-under 63. It whipped a field of 52 other pros by three strokes.
"It was right out of the blue. I can't explain it," Poe said of his competitive-record round. In nearly 20 years as a club professional -- all in the metropolitan Baltimore area -- Poe, 38, remembers a best of 68, and that was 13 years ago. "The only other one near it was an 8-under at Clifton Park, but that was just a fun round with some friends."
In recent years, Poe has pretty much confined his tournament play to the Pro Seniors and the two Maryland State events for which he is eligible, the Maryland Open and the Pro Scratch. Such are the vagaries of golf, however, that he cited the difference in his 63 as opposed to other rounds, as "the putter," yet he had not played a lot because of "the putter."
"The putter -- that's what kept me from playing. I felt that if I couldn't putt any better than what I was doing, I'd rather not play. The past few years, I sort of lost interest in playing. There were times when I'd think about playing in a tournament, but the deadline would be past when I thought of it again."
Now, it might be the putter that keeps him going. Six months ago, he went back to using an old Bullseye he had, and, in the understatement of the week, said, "It has made a difference."
Michael Schimpf and Wes Lovell have been awarded the eighth annual Russell Menta Scholarships, and will attend a Junior program, July 25-31, at the PGA Teaching Academy in Pinehurst, N.C.
Schimpf is 17, and a senior at Calvert Hall, and Lovell, 15, is a sophomore at Boys' Latin.
In last week's playing portion of the examination at Pine Ridge Golf Course, Lovell placed first and Schimpf was second.
Other criteria considered included academics, community service, a letter written by the applicant to the committee, and a personal interview. The program is administered by the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corp.
Entries open tomorrow for the Maryland State Father-Son, due Aug. 13 at Columbia CC. Entries close Wednesday for the USGA Women's Amateur and Junior Girls, and the Maryland State Pro-Scratch, due July 19 at Chantilly Manor CC, and close Thursday for the Maryland State Women's Amateur, due July 20-23, at Eagle's Nest.
In Tuesday's sectional qualifying for the USGA Junior championship, there are 21 entries for two places at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club and 48 entries for four places at Belle Haven CC. . .This week's dates and sites for sectional qualifying for the Chrysler National Long Drive championship are Saturday at Poolesville (Md.) Golf Club, and Sunday at Carper's Valley GC, Winchester, Va. Both start at 3 p.m.
This week's schedule: Today--Maryland Amateur Stroke Play, Mount Pleasant GC, 8 a.m. Tuesday--USGA Junior qualifying, Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, 8 a.m.; WGA Greiner Trophy, Caves Valley GC, 8:30 a.m. Friday--Middle Atlantic PGA Bowie Pro-Am, 8 a.m.