Before coming to town late last week for the Chesapeake Cup tournament at Caves Valley Golf Club, A. Downing Gray, of Pensacola, Fla., had been in Baltimore only once, and it was memorable.
Gray was a member of the 1965 United States Walker Cup team that managed a 12-12 tie with Great Britain and Ireland on the strength of some second-afternoon heroics that produced 6 1/2 wins in the final eight singles matches at Baltimore Country Club.
This time, Gray, an insurance executive, came in as the non-playing captain of the U.S. Walker Cup team, having been selected for the position last January. The matches against Great Britain and Ireland will be Sept. 9-10 in Porthcawl, Wales.
During the 1960s, Gray played on three Walker Cup teams, posting a record of 4-2 in foursomes and 1-4-1 in singles. He remembers that singles win clearly.
"I was 27, and my opponent the last afternoon was Peter Townsend, about 18 or 19, and one of the rising British stars," Gray said after Friday's opening Cup round.
"We were down or even in every match, and then Ed Tutwiler goes from 3-down to 1-up [against Ronald D.B.M. -- known as Right Down the Bloody Middle -- Shade] in a stretch of holes midway in the round, and it sent a spark through our team. We had to win seven of the eight matches to win the cup -- we had been getting our brains beat out -- and we ended up winning six and halving the other."
Gray led Townsend, 1-up playing 18, and the GBI teen-ager put his second shot on the green of the par-4 hole. Gray was off the green in two, but pitched to two feet and made the putt to retain the margin.
The crucial match saw Clive Clark roll in a 35-foot birdie putt to get a half with Mark Hopkins, who had led 1-up, and needed only to halve the hole for the U.S. to win.
"I remember we were standing in a bunch by the green watching, and when Clark's putt went in we were hollering and jumping around as much as the winners," Gray said. "We were thrilled to have the tie after being so far behind."
The call from a couple of USGA friends informing him of his captain's position was a surprise to Gray.
"And that has made it all the more enjoyable. Just like coming here [to Caves Valley]. I had been invited before, but was never able to work it out. So, it has made the weekend special."
The annual Women's Metropolitan tournament begins tomorrow with a qualifying round at Chartwell CC, as 71 seek places in the 16-player draw. Defending champion Andrea Kraus of Woodholme CC is an automatic qualifier.
8:30--Dotty Turnau, Jane Brennan; 8:37--Lee Widhelm, Catherine Stafford; 8:44 --Evie Richardson, Jimmy Katz; 8:51--Leslie Dunn, Pat Erdly; 8:58--Rose O'Doherty, Pat Jackson; 9:05--Grace Harvey, Doris King; 9:12--Ellie Jones, Joanie Cohen; 9:19--Cheryl Nowak, Lucy Preston; 9:26--Carolyn Beall, Ellen Wilen; 9:33--Alice Horst, Fredye Gross; 9:40--Young Ja Kim, Gerri Quartner; 9:47--Sharon Pusin, Tinker Sanger; 9:54--Carleen Jones, Faith Riggs; 10:01--Joanne Salerno, Pat McCarthy; 10:08--Susie Schuh, Joan Lins; 10:15--Leigh Farrell, Ronda Richardson; 10.22--Cheri Cooper, Cindy Peterka; 10:30--Joan Winchester, Connie Pifer.
8:30--Barbara Heisse, Nancy Peverley; 8:37-Marge Myers, Carol Bing; 8:44--Maddie Levine, Eleanor Appling; 8:51--Hortie Amernick, Cass Jacomini; 8:58--Betsy Morgan, Shirley Keeney; 9:05--Arlene Birnbaum, Lis DiFerdinando; 9:12--Shirley Cobb, Ethel Davis; 9:19--Carole McCrory, Joan Marconi; 9:26--Erica Overholser, Stacey Hoogerwerf; 9:33--Mimi Edelin, Maria Ficarro; 9:40--Liz Ireton, Nicky Vorn Holt; 9:47--Nancy Strite, Rita Gillham; 9:54--Pat Hagan, Bobby Farr;10:01-- Midge Thursby, Moon Kim; 10:08--Nancy Trail, Gwen Cameron; 10:15--Jane DuBois, Judy Mehrling; 10:22--Jean Mulcahey, Carnell Boyle, Linda Grabarek.
U.S. Open qualifying
Once again, the sectional event comes the week of the Kemper Open -- this time ahead of it -- and brings with it a star-studded professional group. Only eight amateurs will be among the 157 players aiming for 27 available places in the championship when the 36-hole qualifier is held Tuesday at Woodmont CC.
There will be 130 players competing for four spots when the last Kemper Open qualifying program is held tomorrow at Montgomery Village GC. . . . A field of 134 will vie for places in the 32-man championship draw when qualifying for the 74th Maryland State Amateur championship is held Thursday at Hillendale CC. Included in the field are five past champions -- Buddy Peoples, Kirk Lombardi, Shane Patterson, Dave Rasley, and defender Chuck Freedman. . . . Entries close Wednesday for the U.S. Women's Open and the U.S. Public Links championships.
This week's schedule
Today--Chesapeake Cup, Caves Valley GC, 9 a.m. Tomorrow--Kemper Open qualifying, Montgomery Village GC, 7:30 a.m.; Middle Atlantic PGA Pro-Senior, Longview GC, 8 a.m.; WGA Metro, Chartwell CC, 8:30 a.m. Tuesday--U.S. Open qualifying, Montgomery Village GC, Gaithersburg, 7:30 a.m.; WGA Metro, Suburban Club, 8:30 a.m. Wednesday--WGA Metro, Woodholme CC, 8:30 a.m. Thursday-Sunday--Kemper Open, TPC-Avenel, Potomac, 7 a.m.; Maryland State Amateur championship, Hillendale CC, 7:30 a.m. Thursday--WGA Metro, Maryland Golf & CC, 8:30 a.m.; Middle Atlantic PGA Senior Tour, Stoneleigh GC, Round Hill, Va., 10 a.m. Friday--Middle Atlantic PGA pro-am, Cumberland CC, 8 a.m.; WGA Metro, Chartwell CC, 8:30 a.m.