Kirk Lombardi, with metal pins still implanted in both thighbones broken in a severe truck accident last winter, will limp but nevertheless defend his championship in the Washington Metropolitan Golf Association men's amateur that extends today through Sunday at Country Club of Fairfax.
Other top golfers entered are Buddy Peoples of Crofton, recent winner of the Maryland Amateur; Gill FitzHugh of Army Navy, who won his third Northern Virginia Amateur, and veterans Perky Cullinane of Columbia and Dave King of Bethesda, both of whom won this tournament when it was known as the District Amateur. Also entered are former winners Frank Abbott of Lakewood and Masanori Suzuki of Indian Spring.
One of the driest springs on record has left area golf courses parched going into summer's hottest and harshest period, but watering systems have prevented expensive greens from turning to "browns."
"I've been here 11 years in the Washington area, and this is the driest that I have witnessed," said Alex McNeil, head professional at Washington Golf and Country Club in Arlington. Washington has an underground irrigation system, which helps keep the tees, fairways and greens from drying out, but "there is a real line of difference," McNeil said, "between the areas that are watered and those that are not. We're surviving."
Mark Guttenberg, head pro at Penderbrook near Fairfax, said three man-made lakes from which water is pumped onto the course are "lower than I've ever seen them. We'll have to ration the water supply from now on. We're just hoping to get some more rain. We had some rain that helped saturate the course, but it didn't fill the lakes."
Billy Wolfe, assistant at heavily played East Potomac on Hains Point, said there are plans to lay pipe for irrigation there later this summer. He said presently much water is sprayed onto the dry course from water outlets near the greens, and greenskeepers are also watering by hand.
Bobby Ashton, head pro at Germantown, said it is "definitely the driest I've seen it" but Germantown's greens, some of the best in the area, are still in excellent shape. Ashton attributed that to a lot of watering and also the fact that the greens were built correctly. "It takes a lot of money; you start down about 15 feet with gravel and sand and so forth, and you can't have too much clay."
The 36th Marvin (Bubby) Worsham tournament runs Monday, July 21, through Thursday, July 24, at four different courses. The tournament, first won by Arnold Palmer, will stage qualifying at Poolesville, followed by match play at Indian Spring and another course to be announced. The final will be at Argyle. Fred Widicus of Army Navy, last year's champion, will not defend as he and Steve Woda of Crofton will be competing in the USGA Junior Amateur, July 22-26, at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
Tara Hipp of Gaithersburg shot 75 in Middle Atlantic PGA qualifying in Charlottesville and gained the National PGA Junior in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Aug. 21-24. Tripp Shreves of Bethesda, winner of the ages 14-15 division of the Emmet Schoolboy, was the boys qualifier, 73.