Kim Williams of Potomac is an automatic qualifier for the U.S. Women's Open, which starts today at famed Baltusrol in Springfield, N.J.

Williams, having lost narrowly to the University of Florida's Deb Richard in last year's U.S. Women's Amateur final, also is an exempt qualifier for that tournament, Aug. 5-10 in Pittsburgh.

In the last two seasons, Williams, 22, has won the Canadian Amateur, the Southern Amateur, the Eastern Amateur and the Doherty Cup. Williams lost on the 22nd hole in the quarterfinals of the recent Western women's tournament.

Those good showings in national tournaments make Williams likely to be named to the U.S. Curtis Cup team.

Williams' caddy in the Open will be Bethesda Country Club friend Dave King. King, who helps Williams with her swing and course management, just missed winning his third Washington Area Amateur Champions tournament recently.

That was quite an achievement: King, a two-time Maryland Amateur champion, thought last winter he might never play golf again because of arthritis of the spine had left him weakened and hunched over.

King said that oral cortisone alleviated the pain and left him able to exercise, regain his strength and play competitive golf again.

Earl Biggett Jr., who recently won the Washington Area Amateur Champions tournament at Newbridge, is believed to be the only black golfer playing for an NCAA Division I school. Biggett plays for the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Two golfers who have improved dramatically through hard work at Newbridge are South Carolina State player Rodney Lathern and schoolteacher Walter Clark. Both challenged for the lead in the WAAC and eventually finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Lathern cannot play enough golf. Soon after the tournament ended, he asked: "Where can I sign up for next year?"

Two of the area's premiere junior events are coming up. The Bobby Gorin Memorial will be at Woodmont July 15-18. The Worsham Memorial, first won by Arnold Palmer, will be at four different courses July 22-25. Officials expect full fields of about 175 golfers from across the nation for each event.

Masanori Suzuki of Indian Spring and John Price of International, last year's winner and runner-up, respectively, are entered in the Washington Metropolitan Golf Association Amateur Championship, to be held July 18-21 at Westwood in Vienna.