Brien Staveley carded 65 to win by one stroke, but most of the attention in yesterday's pro-am golf tournament yesterday at Belair was centered on how Mary Alice Canney fared in her debut as the first woman professional to play in a Middle Atlantic PGA event.
Canney, assistant to husband Dick at Chantilly Country Club, shot five over par 75 from the men's tees and finished well back in the pack. It marked the first time a woman has played in the pro sweetstakes division of a MAPGA tournament.
"Oh, yeah, I was a little nervous," Canney said last night. "I didn't want to disgrace myself. By the same token, I wish I could have played a little better. I didn't hit it well. I was very inconsistent.
Canney was to make her debut at Chantilly May 19 but rains wiped out the round while she was on the course.
Canney, who played the LPGA Tour on and off for about six years, now is classified as a PGA apprentice and, as such, can play in all of the MAPGA tournaments except the section championship.
"It would be my guess that she would be a full-fledged PGA member within a year," said the MAPGA executive director, Dave Leonard. Canney will be required to serve more time apprentice, then pass another PGA business course and an interview to become a class A PGA member.
In most MAPGA events, the players in the sweepstakes division play from the middle white tees, as did Canney yesterday. In the assistants championship and two-man team (Leonard now amends that to "two-person" team) championship, if Canney plays it will be from the more lengthy blue tees.