Lost amid the fanfare of the coming Kemper Open is the realization that another pretty fair golf tournament, the U.S. Open, is just around the corner.
Ninety-one pros and amateurs tee it up tomorrow at Washingtonian's National and Country Club courses for 10 spots in first-phase local qualifying. Among the strong pros are leading Middle Atlantic PGA money winner Brian Staveley, reigning Maryland Open champ Wheeler Stewart, MAPGA section titlist Larry Ringer and former Washington Golf and Country Club assistant Woody Fitzhugh, now giving it a shot on the PGA Tour.
Notable amateur entrants are recent Belle Haven winner Henri deLozier, present Worsham and Schoolboy chamb Webb Heintzelman, and former Maryland Open champion Gary Marlowe.
Tom Smack, Coleman Plecker, Pete Chapin and PGA Tourist Ron Terry are among 39 shooting for four Baltimore area spots at Chestnut Ridge.
Local qualifiers advance to the U.S. Open sectionals at Manor and Argyle June 2.
The U.S. Open will be held for an unprecedented sixth time at Baltusrol in Springfield, N.J., June 12-15.
About 80 amateurs and pros will pay the steep $100 entry fee to play Tuesday at Germantown Country Club for four spots to gain the field for the Kemper. Among the golfers is Gary Hardin, a player on the Florida minitour and son of former Navy and current Temple football Coach Wayne Hardin . . . An addendum to the story in The Washington Post sports section about area college golf coaches: while George Mason was dueling Salisbury State recently, Mason Coach Len Slusher, playing alone, whacked a 185-yard hold in one -- a fine example, but his guys lost . . . The District of Columbia Golf Association, in addition to running the local U.S. Open qualifying, will also administer qualifying for the inaugural USGA Senior Open, to be played June 26-29 at Winged Foot.
The Washington-area test for that tournament will be held June 16 at International. Entries must reach the USGA office in Far Hills, N.J., by Wednesday, 5 p.m. Pros and amateurs 55-and-over with handicaps of eight or under are eligible . . . Frank Emmet, still going strong after more than a half century as "commissioner" of area juniors, reminds that the Metropolitan High School match play championship is Thursday at Woodmont, between perennial finalist Bowie and Episcopal, there for the first time in 31 years . . . Five PGA Tour winners, including double winner Craig Stadler, the husky bearded Grizzly Adams of the links, are in the field for the yfellowship of Christian Athletes proam May 26 at Country Club of Fairfax. Other Tour winners to play are Andy Bean, Curtis Strange, Jeffrey Mitchell and Doug Tewell. . .
The popular PGA Long Driving Contest will have four area qualifying sites: June 4 at Country Club of Virginia in Richmond, June 8 at Potters Range in Mitchellville, Md., June 10 at Flint Hill Range in Chantilly, Va., and June 12 at Hobbit's Glen in Columbia.
Prospective sluggers should call one of those courses to check the exact time of the contests. Entry fee is three balls for $5. Dave Leonard, executive director of the Middle yatlantic PGA, related that one persistent golfer wouldnht stop until he had hit $40 worth of balls, but he advanced to further competition . . . The Merry Mex, Lee Trevino, will hold a golf clinic at Congressional Country Club's first tee at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27. The 1 1/2-hour display of shotmaking and commentary is open to anyone purchasing a $5 practice-day ticket.