Wayne DeFrancesco, an assistant professional at Woodholme Country Club, and Walt Sauer, a professional from Gatlinburg, Tenn., registered 1-under-par 71s to share the medal in local U.S. Open qualifying at Eagle's Nest yesterday. The two also had to share the spotlight with Deane Beman, outgoing PGA Tour commissioner, who failed to advance.
With 84 players seeking eight places at the sectional level, there was a playoff for the final spot at 73. Adrian Druzgala of Hobbit's Glen became the only amateur to qualify when he holed a 30-foot putt at the first extra hole to survive a seven-man, sudden-death session.
"I had a few loose iron shots on the front nine and figured I had to make a couple of birdies coming in," Beman said of a round played in swirling, gusty wins over a 6,619-yard, par 36-3672 layout that was in good shape, considering the weather-related problems among area courses.
His tour included birdie putts of 22 and 40 feet, two bogeys and a double bogey after hitting into water at No. 5.
Beman, 56, will leave office June 1, and after that, "My first priority is to get my game in shape. I need time for some concentrated practice and I need competitive rounds." He plans to play in several tournaments this summer, including the British Open.
DeFrancesco, 36, made it past the local level for the fifth time with a bogey-free round of 36-35. He played solidly, hitting 16 greens and using 33 putts, with his birdie at No. 13.
Sauer, 50, shot 36-35, with three birdies and two bogeys. He entered here because he is en route to a new Seniors tour event in Dover, Del.
Brett LaPierre, of Baltimore CC, Dean Wilson of Indian Spring and Rob McNamara of Farmington CC, assistant pros working at new jobs in the Middle Atlantic section, had par-matching 72s, along with Glen Miller of Fort Washington and Butch Butler of Cedar Point.
LaPierre offset three birdies with a bogey and a four-putt double-bogey. Wilson hit 15 greens and had three birdies to go with a triple-bogey at the 13th. McNamara made it with 34-3872.
The qualifiers: Wayne DeFrancesco, Woodholme CC, 36-3571; Walt Sauer, Gatlinburg, Tenn., 36-3571; Dean Wilson, Indian Spring CC, 34-3872; Butch Butler, Cedar Point, 35-3772; Glen Miller, Fort Washington Golf Range, 37-3572; Brett LaPierre, Baltimore CC, 35-3772; Rob McNamara, Farmington CC, 34-3872; a-Adrian Druzgala, Hobbit's Glen, 38-3573.
The alternates: Phil Henry, Elkridge Club, 37-3673; Chip Sullivan, Salem, Va., 34-3973; Del Ponchock, CC Woodmore, 36-3773; Jack Skilling, Columbia CC, 35-3873. Others in playoff: Jack Snyder, Palmyra, Va., 36-3773; Joe Greenawalt, Ruggles GC, 35-3873.