Md. Open history repeats itself


Also in Thursday's editions, Mike Benner was incorrectly listed as a professional in the final scores from the Maryland Open golf tournament. Mr. Benner is an amateur.

The Sun regrets the errors.

The caddie master at Woodholme Country Club knew the order of finish all along. They didn't even have to play the 74th Maryland Open.

Last week, Ed "Moon" Brown told Maryland Open defending champion Wayne DeFrancesco that he again would win and that Dennis Winters of the University of Maryland Golf Club again would be runner-up.

"Moon knew it would come down to me and Dennis," said DeFrancesco, the assistant pro at Woodholme the past five years. "He said Dennis was playing great and has beaten me a few times recently. 'You have trouble shaking that Winters boy,' Moon said."

Shake him DeFrancesco did, again.

Moon proved to be a prophet. DeFrancesco shot a 70 yesterday for a 4-under-par 209 to capture the 74th annual Maryland Open at Chartwell Country Club and become the first player in 27 years to win back-to-back titles. Leo Wykle won in 1967 and 1968.

DeFrancesco claimed first-prize money of $4,500 and Winters, with a closing 71 for 211, got $2,750.

"Moon will be chirping now," DeFrancesco said, anticipating that Brown will gleefully remind him of the prediction the instant he appears at Woodholme today.

DeFrancesco's final round would have sparkled even more if, after 33 straight holes without a bogey, he hadn't bogeyed Nos. 16, 17 and 18.


"No," said DeFrancesco, who had four birdies. "Bogeys are always out there. You just hope one doesn't bite when it hurts."

As much as the prize money, DeFrancesco cherishes the exemption for next year's Kemper Open that goes to the winner. In this year's Kemper at Congressional Country Club, he missed the cut by two strokes.

"That's the biggest thing, making the Kemper," DeFrancesco said. "It's a week of pure joy. It's just so nice to be out there."

Aside from Wykle, the only men who won successive Maryland Open titles were Charles Bassler (1957 and '58), Jack Isaacs (1951 and '52) and Al Houghton (1932, '33 and '34).

"This is the biggest tournament in the section and it has the best field," DeFrancesco said. "It means a lot to win it two straight years."

Marty West, who won the first of his three titles in 1975 and finished tied for 12th at 218 yesterday, noted that the quality of play has improved because there are more good players and the courses are in better condition.

"Ten years ago people said we'd never get good grass to grow in the Baltimore-Washington area," West said. "But the course superintendents have done a great job with the playing surfaces. Chartwell's fairways are magnificent and the greens are quick."

The top amateur, and third finisher overall, was Pat Tallent of Congressional, with a 69 for 213. The chief financial officer of World Resources Co. in Tysons Corner, Va., Tallent has been runner-up once in the Maryland State Amateur, a semifinalist once and a quarterfinalist twice.

"The hole that gave me the most trouble was No. 18," Tallent said. "That's the one they changed from a par 5 to a 4. I bogeyed it three times. It's too hard for me."

Next year's Maryland Open will be held July 8-10 at Old South CC in Lothian.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad