Even with his dental braces now removed, Wayne DeFrancesco will not overwhelm you with smiles on the golf course. But he's working on it.
"He's intense, very serious," said Maryland Open champion Gary Marlowe, DeFrancesco's teammate on the Louisiana State golf team. "He is also a very intelligent player. And he hits a lot of greens."
"I'm grim for a reason," said the District Amateur champion from McLean, who finished tied for third in the recent NCAA championships and is virtually certain of being named a first-team All-America.
"I feel like I have to concentrate really hard on the course. I try to tune everything out."
De Francesco's game has matured to where Dave Sigler, his coach at LSU and formerly a coach at Maryland, calls him the best player he has coached. That includes PGA player George Burns, Billy Ziobro, Roger Simpkins and the late Steve Fellinger.
"I am going to try to play a little differently now," said DeFrancesco, an English major. "I am going to try to show a little more confidence on the course and not be so grim."
There is reason to be confident. The former Metro Schoolboy titlist, a product of Frank Emmet's local junior program, won the Palmetto, Louisiana Intercollegiate and the Southeastern Conference tournaments and finished well in others this spring.
The slim shotmaker had a chance to win the prestigious NCAA. One stroke behind eventual winner Gary Hallberg heading into the final day, DeFrancesco's putting touch went awry and he finished eight strokes behind.
DeFrancesco, who plays out of Lakewood and Pinecrest, will not defend his District title because he is entered in the Southern Amateur in Pinehurst this week. He is playing a heavy national schedule this summer.
As for turning pro, DeFrancesco said, "It would be a nice living. I have to feel the improvement before I make any decision on that.
"Every time I play well, it makes me feel like I can do it again."
The Bill Strausbaugh Club Relations Award will be presented for the first time at the PGA annual meeting in New York Nov. 26-29.
Named after the Columbia Country Club head pro, the award is for "untiring efforts and unselfish service to aid clubs and fellow PGA members." Strausbaugh was named "Professional of the Year" in 1966.
A two-level PGA Tour, with the game's top 100 players in one league and the next-best 150 players on another circuit, has been introduced by Bob Murphy at a meeting of touring pros. Commissioner Deane Beman has refrained from endorsing the idea.
"I have no personal feeling on it at this time," Breman told the Associated Press.
The two-day Harden and Weaver outing starts Thursday at Montgomery Village, to benefit Children's Hospital. The golf field of 435 is filled, but persons can still become patrons with a $75 donation that will get their names in the programs, plus an invitation to the awards and cocktails reception and a golf trick shot exhibition by Mike Smith. Tennis vacancies remain.