When the 154-man field in the Maryland Open begins play tomorrow, it will find a Congressional Country Club Blue Course in much better condition than might have been expected.
There had been tales of fairways that had not come in and greens without much grass, but the old course in Bethesda is definitely on the comeback trail.
Considering a winter of ice and recent weeks of 90-degree heat, it's a wonder any of the area courses survived. That they have is a tribute to the superintendents.
At Congressional, superintendent Paul Latshaw had to restore bent-grass greens and convert fairways of Bermuda and rye to bent grasses.
"In heat, the Bermuda was big and fat, and the rye was suffering. There was no consistency," Latshaw said.
Obviously, the weather has been of no help in the grass-growing department over the last seven months.
"The greens are in fairly good condition. They have good contours and it has been a question of maturing. They have had a heavy program of feeding and aerification -- good, but we'd like them better. In the fairways, we had trouble trying to bring in the bent, but the growth is progressing."
Players familiar with the course will find one routing change. No. 18, a par-3, will be played as No. 10, and No. 17 will be the finishing hole. This will serve as a preview of next year's U.S.
Senior Open, which will use the same rotation.
John Albert, a former teaching professional at Hunt Valley Golf Club, is the new director of instruction at Wakefield Valley Golf Club in Westminster.
Albert returns to the area after three years as the head professional at Greencastle Greens, just over the Pennsylvania line north of Hagerstown.
In his new position, Albert will set up a program that will offer a wide choice of classes at various times and individual
Juniors in action
About two dozen area teen-agers are entered in the 20th annual Bobby Bowers Memorial Junior tournament, which begins with a qualifying round tomorrow at Springfield (Va.) Golf & CC. The finals are scheduled for Thursday.
Miguel Rivera, of Joppa, whose plus-one handicap is one of three pluses in the field, goes into the tournament backed by two impressive performances.
At Hershey (Pa.) CC's East Course, Rivera was co-medalist in sectional qualifying for the U.S. Juniors (77-71--148). He then came back last week to finish with three successive birdies for a 67 and a four-shot victory in the annual University of Maryland Junior tournament.
* The Baltimore Junior tournament, sponsored and conducted by the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corp., will be held July 25 at Mount Pleasant GC. Entries close Friday.
A qualifying round for the Greiner Invitation tournament will be held tomorrow at Woodholme CC. The event, sponsored by the Women's Golf Association of Baltimore, is for those women who have won a gross tournament.
With defending champion Andrea Kraus of Woodholme an automatic qualifier, a field of 35 will be seeking the remaining 31 places for Wednesday's championship round at Caves Valley GC.
Tomorrow's pairings (First tee): 8:15 a.m.--Sara Abeshouse, Arlene Birnbaum; 8:22--Tinker Sanger, Joanne Salerno; 8:29--Kathryn Rudo, Kathy Altemus; 8:36--Pat McCarthy, Lucy Preston; 8:43--Holly Lanahan, Fran Ghingher; 8:50--Joanne Smith, Faith Riggs; 8:57--Susan Tucker, Mary Harper; 9:04--Young Ja Kim, Nancy Chance; 9:11--Carol Emerick, Judy Mehrling; 9:18--Moon Kim, Joyce Bessey.
(10th tee): 8:15--Midge Thursby, Jane DuBois; 8:22--Gerry Quartner, Sally Casey; 8:29--Connie Pifer, Jean Mulcahey; 8:36--Terry Abrams, Glena Wirtanen; 8:43--Susan Schuh, Stacey Pusin; 8:50--Shirley Williams, Sharon Pusin; 8:57-- Bonnie Fry, Katie O'Neil.
* Invitations are in the mail for the annual Baltimore City Amateur championship, due July 30-31 at Chartwell CC. Eligible players are those who have placed first or second in club and organization scratch events, and those who have qualified for a national tournament. Information is available from Robert Swindell (410) 377-8684.
Jenny Chuasiriporn of Timonium and Mallory Crossland and Emily Johnson of Bethesda begin qualifying play today in the U.S. Girls' Junior championship at Great Falls, Mont. . . . Qualifying begins today, too, for Greg Tilton of Crofton, Mike Benner Jr. of Laurel, Craig Niedomanski of Silver Spring, and Richard Lion of University Park, in the U.S. Amateur Public Links championship at Bigfork, Mont. . . . The Futures Golf Tour, whose members include Kim Cayce of Potomac and Shannon Hanley of Germantown, will stop at Briarwood Golf Club in York, Pa., Friday-Sunday. It's a $50,000 purse.
This week's schedule: Tomorrow--Maryland State Open, Congressional CC, 7:15 a.m.; Middle Atlantic Father-Son, Chestnut Ridge CC, 7:30 a.m.; Greiner tournament, Woodholme CC, 8:15 a.m. Tuesday--Maryland Open, Congressional CC, 7:15 Women's Golf Association, Baltimore CC, 9 a.m. Wednesday--Maryland Open, Congressional CC, 7:30 a.m.; Greiner tournament, Caves Valley GC, 8:30 a.m. Friday--Middle Atlantic PGA pro-am, Chester River Y&CC;, 8 a.m.