John McNaney, who started working on his swing a month ago, saw it begin to pay off yesterday when he shot 2-under-par 70 and took a one-stroke lead in the opening round of the 73rd Maryland Open championship at Crofton Country Club.
Glen Barrett, Mark Evenson, and Dennis Winters were the only other players among the 151 starters to break par.
With the field cut to the low 80 and ties for today's second round (starting times between 7:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.), the cutoff was 79 and 83 players will go in the second round. The low 40 and ties will play tomorrow's final round.
McNaney, from Country Road Driving Range in Frederick, birdied the par-5 second with a 2-putt green, and bogeyed the ninth when he failed to get a six-foot putt to drop.
On the back nine, he had three birdies on putts of 30 feet at the 12th, 15 feet at the 13th, and 12 feet at the 17th, and a bogey at 15 when he missed a seven-foot putt.
Of the three players at 71, Winters, an assistant professional at Eisenhower Golf Course, brings the best record in this tournament. In the past three years, he has tied for third, finished second, and tied for fourth.
This time, he had 37-34, playing the last 10 holes 2-under par after starting bogey-birdie-bogey. For the round, he only missed one fairway and reached 13 greens in regulation.
Crofton had 10 entries, and all but two made the cut. Sean Rooney, 22, a first-year assistant pro, led the group with a 72.
Pat Tallent of Congressional CC and Gary Moore of Crofton CC shared low amateur honors at 73.