Jan Miller of Pine Ridge rebounded from a double bogey on the 17th hole with a birdie on the 18th for a 75 and 146 total and a one-shot lead in the Maryland Open today at Hillendale Country Club.
First-round leader Jim Seeley of Prince Georges felt the wrath of Hillendale, with its small, fast greens, and soared to 80 but is still within three strokes of Miller.
Wheeler Stewart of Congressional carded a two-under-par 70, the day's low round, and was tied for second at 147 with Mark Alwin of Woodholme.
All afternoon, it appeared that Miller, a cool performer with an unrushed tempo, would take a big lead heading into Wednesday's final round, but an errant driver cost him.
"I'm hitting the driver terribly," he said. On the fifth hole, Miller's drive went 80 yards to the right of the fairway, but he whistled an iron through willow trees and onto the green for a miracle par.
On the 14th hole, Miller's drive went into pine trees, and he took bogey to go two over par. After pars on the 15th and 16th holes, he pulled his drive into the left rough on the 17th. He hit an eight-iron approach shot that went into pine trees to the right of the green on the par-4 hole. With his swing restricted, Miller chipped short of the green. On his fourth shot, he chipped too strongly and missed a 15-footer to take double bogey.
He bounced back with birdie on the par-5 finishing hole, sinking an eightfoot putt.
Seeley birdied the first hole, double-bogeyed No. 5 and 6, birdied No. 7 and then bogeyed five straight holes when his hot putter, which earned him a first-round 69, went cold.
Stewart, who appeared out of contention with an opening-round 77, which included a penality stoke, birdied five holes and doubled the 16th.
Alwin has had an off-year after winning the Middle Atlantic PGA and the Middle Atlantic Open in 1978. The former Columbia assistant had four birdies.
Walter Romans of Baltimore Country Club, who won this event twice in the 1950s and, at 62, is the oldest players in the field, shot 75 and is two strokes behind at 148.
Defending champion and low amateur Gary Marlowe of Woodmont hooked his tee shot out of bounds on the tight, par-5 13th hole and is tied with Seeley, Woody FitzHugh of Washington and Brian Staveley of Eisenhower at 149.