Bonnie Bryant was fined $50 for being late to the tee today, but then she tied two records and took the first-round lead in the LPGA Greater Baltimore Classic at Pine Ridge gold course.
Bryant's five-under-par 32 on the front nine matched tournament records set here in 1972 by Kathy Whitworth, Carol Mann and Kathy Ahern.
Her six-under-par 67 for the day tied the Pine Ridge course record, last equaled by the tournament's defending champion, Nancy Lopex, last year. It also matched Bryant's lowest career round, shot at the Bill Branch Classic in Fort Meyers, Fla., in 1974, when she won her only tournament.
Bryant has a one-stroke lead over Pat Bryant, who had two eagles on the way to a 68, and a two-stroke edge on Sallyy Litle. Hometown favorite Mann had a 76 and was tied for 10th place.
Lopez shot a par 73, putting her in an 11-way tie for seventh.
"I would like to be in a better position than I am with a three-day tournament," Lopez said. "Anything can happen. The course is not playing long for me so if I can get the putts to go in and judge my short shots a little better, I guess I can do better."
"I was very pleased, particularly with my putting," said Bryant, 35. "I haven't putted well since New Jersey (the Coca-Cola Classic in late May). I really love slow greens because I'm an aggressive putter and today hey were good for me. They're much slower here than we normally play."
The only left-handed player on the tour, Bryant putted 28 times today and had seven birdies and one bogey, the latter on the picturesque 156-yard 17th hole overlooking Loch Raven Reservoir.
"I was going to switch putters earlier i the day, but decded against it," said Bryant, who has bypassed the last two stops on the LPGA cirrcuit to relax by sunbathing on a pontoon in a Michigan lake.
Bryant, who ranks 34th among money-winners with earnings of $18,982, did not begin golfing until she was 20.
She decided to abandon 12 years of softball because "I just wanted to get into a professional sport."
After her 1974 win, Bryant was considered a contender until a series of illnesses sideline her.
"We (the tour) were traveling in Japan, the Philippines and Hong Kong in November of 1976 and somewhere aong the line I picked up an amoebic parasite," she recalled. "I was fine, didn't notice anything until six months later when we were playing at Hilton Head.
"I ended up in he hospital, deathly ill. Two months later I got food poisoning and went to an internist who also cleared up the (parasite) bug with antibiotics."
Her weight dropped 30 pounds from her accusomed 130, her dress size from an eight to two.
"I had to drink a lot of milkshakes with raw eggs in them to try to put weight on," she said. "Now that I've got my metabolism squared away and got the weight back, I'm having a good year."