Robert Black Jr. of Army Navy battled gusty winds and very slow greens to shoot two-under-par 70 yesterday for the first-round lead in the Northern Virginia Amateur Golf Championship at Chantilly.
Black, who competes for the University of Florida, and foursome mate Scott Inman, who shot 71, were the only golfers of 96 entered to break par.
Chantilly, hosting its first NVA, is a long course, 7,082 yards, and the wind, at times reaching 30 miles per hour, made it play much longer. The wind also contributed to the unusually high qualifying score of 79.
"The wind was a pretty big factor," said Black, whose father Robert Sr. qualified at 79. "I had to hit short when I was driving with the wind and count on the ball to roll. But anytime you let the wind manipulate your play, you're asking for trouble."
Black, who won the 1979 District Amateur title, was able to capitalize on superb putting to compensate for his conservative long game."I putted really well," he said. "The greens are heavy are you can hit firm. I didn't worry about putting too hard: I just rammed the ball and it paid off.
Defending champion Gill FitzHugh, who shot 74, said he wished the "greens were faster. There is so much thatch under the grass that it makes the greens terribly slow. A lot of players out there three-putted; I was just lucky I didn't."
The top 42 scorers will play in today's second round, with the top 20 from that round advancing to Sunday's final.