The area golf season moves into full swing this week with the two-day Shannon Green pro-am starting Monday, the amateur Poor Robert's Classic Friday and the $6,000 Capital City Open Saturday and Sunday.
The Poor Robert's, with humble origins as an outing at nine-hole Georgetown Prep, has in 13 years burgeoned into one of the area's strongest one-day charity events. This year's version at Glenn Dale includes Walker Cupper Marty West, Perky Cullinane, Henri deLozier, Dave King, Buddy Marucci, Delaware Open champion Davis Sezna, D.C. Amateur champion Barry McCarty, Middle Atlantic amateur winner Bucky Earhardt and defender Gary Marlowe, who finished eagle-eagle last year to win by two shots at 68.
In last year's finish, Marlowe flew his tee shot over trees to hit the green on the par-4 17th hole, and the skinny Woodmont player cut the dogleg again on the par-5 finishing hole, reaching it with a drive and an iron. Cedar trees have since been planted along the left side of the 18th fairway to prevent future shortcuts.
"The timing is pretty good on the Poor Robert's," said sponsor Bobby Abbo, who forwards proceeds to the Georgetown Big Brothers charities. "It's right before the Belle Haven, and these guys have been watching golf on TV all winter." The field is 180, with 104 higher handicappers playing in a morning scrambles, followed by the scratch flight at 1:15.
Langston will host the 21st annual Capital City Open, but host pro Lee Elder will not participate because the Washington touring pro will be playing in the Houston Open.
Former tour player Nate Starks, now a golf glove salesman and sometime player on the Florida minitour, will defend his title.
The 36-hole stroke play event, with $1,300 to the winner, benefits sickle cell anemia and his shotgun starts both days.
Also entered are former Langston pro Al Green, former PGA tourists Bobby Stroble and James Black and some Middle Atlantic PGA pros.
Legendary Charlie Sifford, who has played in a few Capital City Opens, is not entered.
The field for the 36-hole Shannon Green in Fredericksburg is 80 pros and 154 amateurs. The winning pro gets about $900 out of a purse of $6,000.