The 10 survivors of 93 players in Monday's first phase of local U.S. Open golf qualifying at Andrews and Crofton will be good drivers, in more ways than one.
The golfers will play 18 holes at one course and then drive about three-quarters of an hour to play another round at the alternate course. Art Scott, former assistant pro at Andrews Air Force Base, warns participants to observe the 30-mph speed limit on base, or be subject to being ticketed by unforgiving military police.
If a player plays first at Andrews, he then must hop into his car and negotiate three stoplights in getting off base. He will encounter two more traffic lights before driving onto the Beltway en route to Crofton. The entire trip is about 25 miles. And, fellows, don't get caught in rush hour.
Top players at the Crofton-Andrews qualifying are former Maryland Open champions Larry Ringer and Wheeler Stewart, former PGA Tour player Woody FitzHugh, Fred Gibson and Al Green.
Kemper Open qualifier Bob Bilbo, leading Middle Atlantic PGA money-winner Billy Bassler Jr., Roger Simpkins, Mark Alwin and amateur Gary Marlowe will be among 59 players shooting for seven spots Monday at Woodholme, near Baltimore.
U.S. Open sectional qualifying will be June 9 at Army Navy Arlington. Survivors there gain the U.S. Open proper, to be held for the fourth time at Merion, just outside Philadelphia, June 18-21.
The U.S. Golf Association has received the largest number of entries ever, 4,946. Jack Nicklaus, defending champion, heads a list of 52 exempt players.Washington touring pro Lee Elder is exempt from local qualifying, but must tee it up in the sectionals.