A field of 130 golfers will compete for 14 local qualifying spots in the U.S. Open with two 18-hole rounds at Washingtonian Monday and many of the players could be in for a surprise. The Country Club course (at the motel) could be a sterner test than the National course what with the tees set back and the recent narrowing of the 18th fairway.
The field will play 18 holes over each of the club's two courses. The National course had always been respected by the area's top golfers; nobody has ever matched par over 36 holes of play the several years it alone has been the site of Open qualifying.
The 14 low scorers will move on to the regional qualifying play in June.
Silvia Bertolaccini, the leader the first two days f the LPGA Greater Baltimore Golf Classic last week, is of Italian ancestry and a native of Argentina. One reporter, not aware that she was born in Argentina and still lives there, was trying to pinpoint her "Italian" home. "How far are you from Rome?" he asked. "Oh, I guess about 4,000 miles," she said.
Plans are under way for a golden jubilee dinner for Frank Emmet this fall. Emmet is credited with founding the junior golf program here 50 years ago and his format was adopted all over the country.
Bruce Lehnhard of Evergreen Country Club, Haymarket, Va., had an interesting observation a few months ago in a story on how to putt. "When you hear of a man taking fewer than 30 putts," Lehnhard said, "it means that he's either scrambling or his chipping is great."
The PGA tour now says Bob Menne broke that all-time tour record during the recent Tournament Players Championship with only 99 putts for four rounds. The previous record was held by Bert Yancey, who took 102 putts in winning the 1966 Portland Open.
But Menne's explanation was enlightening. "It hit only 23 greens," Menne said in discussing his record, "so I had to chip and putt well to score at all."
Tom Watson already has topped the $200,000 mark in leading the PGA tour money list. Some 24 players won $100,000 or more last year with four winning more than $200,000. It appears the exclusive $100,000 club will have even more members this year. Arnold Palmer was the first to win more than $100,000 in a full season - and that was in 1962. Ironically, Palmer is 99th on the current list with only $10,244. That's not enough to buy fuel for his jet.
Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus will play with former Washington and Minnesota slugger Harmon Killebrew in the Vince Lambardi Memorial Golf and Tennis Tournament at Indian Spring June 27. Andrus and Killebrew are both from Idaho. Hamilton Jordan, assisstant to president Carter, has entered the tennis tournament.
Fred King of Andrews Air Force Base will head a contingent of 18 Middle Atlantic PGA pros who will put on a clinic and golf tournament for members of the U.S. Soldiers and Airmen's Home at their course here on June 1. King originated the idea in 1975 and the tournament proved so popular with the home that it has been revived.
Golfers have their physical problems, too. Lee Trevio had surgery last winter for removal of a disc and is trying to make a comeback. He says he went back to playing the tour too soon but thinks he's ready now. Jerry Heard, who has similar back problem, is out for the year. He hasn't decided on surgery yet. Heard was one of the most promising of the young golfers two years ago. Then, there's John Mahaffey, who was recovering from an ailing right elbow when he fell off the ladder at his home and chipped a bone in his right hand. He hopes to be back before the U.S. Open.
Numerous area sports figures, among them Larry Brown, Chris Hanburger and Charley Taylor of the Redskins, Dave Bing of the Bullets and Lydell Mitchell and John Unitas of the Colts, will take part in the Don Bowie Memorial golf tournament Wednesday at Woodlawn Country Club.
Proceeds from the events, which honors Bowie, who died last year at age 39, will go to the American Cancer Society.