Curtis Strange, the former NCAA champion from Wake Forest who won his card for the PGA Tour in Pinehurst, N.C., Sunday, heads a field of 26 golfers who will try for four places in the U.S. Open field in a 36-hole sectional qualifying test at Washingtonian's National course today.
Strange, who recently was signed as the touring pro for Kingsmill Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va., has been one of the country's top amateurs the last few years. He failed by one stroke to qualify for his PGA card last winter but now can join the tour.
There ware 14 sectional qualifying tests for the Open, which will be held June 16-19 at Southern Hills in Tulsa. Some 112 golfers will join 41 others players who are exempt for the tournament.
Today's test will see two former Maryland State Amateur champions, Gary Mankulish and Dave King, competing with 22 pros.
Among other familiar local names, will be Jim Thorpe, medalist in the local qualifying trial two weeks ago: Roger Simpkins, former University of Maryland golf captain: Dough Ballenger, former Maryland Open champion, and George Grafe, who won the Maryland Open last year as an amateur.