Larry Ringer, 33, varsity golf coach and head professional at the Naval Academy, shot two-under-par 70 late yesterday to take a one-stroke lead over Jennings House in the 36-hold $10,000 Shannon Green Pro-Am.
"Consistency, that's my game," said Ringer, of his steady round. He hit 14 greens in regulation and registered three birdies and a bogey in this rich Middle Atlantic PGA event. Today's pro winner receives $950.
It is the third straight year Ringer has led in the first round here. Ringer, former PGA tourist, shared first prize with Claude King last year.
Several pros failed to finish before darkness but none appeared able to catch Ringer, who says the key to a sound golf game is "using your legs well."
House, 40, of Virginia Beach posted 71 early in the day before the winds whipped up. Both he and Ringer bogied the first hole, a problem for many.
"I think I'm going to need three wood shots and a wedge to reach that green," said amateur Charles Crum, eyeing the 390-yard opening hole that required a long tee shot into strong winds in order to have a chance of carrying the second shot over a lake to the green.
Tom Smack of Caroline, MAPGA Player of the Year last season, tied for third at 72 with Mike Felker of Stonehenge and David Jimenez of Winergreen.
A full field of 64 pros and 189 amateurs entered. There are separate amateur tournaments each day. Brian Willard of Argyle Country Club and Dick Stearns of Tantallon shared amateur gross yesterday, 73.