Larry Rentz, Woody FitzHugh, Chris Peddicord and the University of Maryland's golf coach, Fred Funk, are the primary contenders for Middle Atlantic PGA player-of-the-year honors.
Long-hitting Rentz, who plays out of Newbridge near Capital Centre, was the leading money winner on the National PGA Club pro circuit last winter. This season, he has won the prestigious Maryland Open and two pro-amateur tournaments.
FitzHugh, last year's player of the year, beat out PGA Tour star Curtis Strange to win last summer's Virginia PGA Open, and has won three pro-ams and tied for first in two others.
Funk tied for 22nd in the U.S. Open at famed Oakland Hills near Detroit, and has won two pro-ams and tied for first in another.
Peddicord, from Winter's Run, north of Baltimore, has won one pro-am and has been a contender in several others.
All four are assured of being named to the MAPGA Yamaha Cup team. The Yamaha Cup matches are scheduled Nov. 5-6, at Foxfire, near Pinehurst, N.C. Last year, MAPGA had a weak showing in the three-section competition, finishing 60 strokes behind first-place Carolinas, and 27 shots behind second-place Philadelphia. George Graefe of BWI Golf Center was the MAPGA's best golfer in the matches, and has an outside chance for player of the year.
Graefe narrowly missed winning his third Maryland Open, was medalist in the Kemper Open qualifying, and tied for first in a pro-am.
*Washington's Lee Elder, who has found his niche on the PGA Senior Tour, will join touring pros Willie Wood, Ronnie Black, Jim Simons, Joey Sindelar, Howard Twitty, Wayne Grady, Mark Lye, Tom Jenkins, Dan Forsman and renowned instructor Bob Toski in the Ronald McDonald House pro-am July 29 at Springfield Country Club. Twelve area pros will team with 96 amateurs paying $500 each to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House on Quincy Street NE.
*Women amateur golfers have until July 30 to sign up for the fourth annual Elizabeth Arden Charity Classic, Aug. 5 at Indian Spring, which benefits the American Cancer Society. Registration forms can be obtained in pro shops, or at Woodward and Lothrop.
*Kim Williams of Potomac and Bethesda Country Club, who lost to University of Florida player Deb Richard on the 37th hole in last year's final, is an automatic qualifier for the 85th U.S. Women's Amateur, Aug. 5-10, at Fox Chapel in Pittsburgh.