Jane Blalock, who says she has never lost a tournament in which she led the first round, and Silvia Bertolaccini, an Argentine transplant, led the way with four-under-par 60s in the opening round of the LPGA. Greater Baltimore Classic at Pine Ridge today.
Neither woman could start counting the $8,000 first prize. A stroke behind was U.S. Open champion JoANne Carner. Six other golfers, including Betty Burfeindt, the 1976 LPGA champion, were at 71.
A swirling wind made the early scores higher. The wind dried out the fairways and gave the afternoon players considerable roll on their shots. Carner, the longest hitter in the women's ranks, got as much as 290 yards on some of her drives.
There were several surprises. Kathy Whitworth, leading money-winner this year with almost $50,000, shots 75 along with Judy Rankin, who has won two tournaments this year and lost a third in a playoff.
Two Washington-area amateurs, Karen Smith of Silver Spring, Md. and Laurie Stokien, who plays out of the District's Langston course, competed in the field of 74 with two other amateurs and 70 pros. Smith had 84 and stokien 91. Mary Bryan, a pro out of Crofton, Md., shot 60. The top 60 and ties after 36 holes will play in the final round Sunday.
The women went off the first and 10th tees. The back nine provided the greatest difficulty.