Fred Gibson, an assistant pro at Fort Meade, shot a five-under-par 67 yesterday to take the first-round lead in the Lee Elder Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament at Langston.
Trailing Gibson were Henry Seymour (68), Alfred Morton (69), Al Green (69), George Wallace (69) and Nate Starke (69).
George Johnson, who took the winner's purse last year with a 70-67 -- 137, was six shots back at 73. He felt his second-day putting would have to be better for him to successfully defend his title.
"I didn't make my putts today." said Johnson of his 36-putt effort. "If you can keep you putt total to 28-30 on this course you should wind up with a good score."
"But it wasn't the greens that forced my putt total to be so high. Once you play a course you know the course and it's no different from one time to another. I always like to play here."
The second-round action starts this morning at 10 with an exhibition match featuring Lee Trevino, Elder, Jerry Pate and Morris.
One of the pros here, Joe Wilson, is a former recipient of an Elder scholarship and has returned to the course he knows so well in an attempt to win his first pro tournament He shot 73 yesterday.
"I grew up on this course," said Wilson, who attended high school across the street at Spingarn. "I started out caddying when I was 14 and I tried playing the game one day because it looked to be so interesting."
Wilson (playing his fifth Elder tournament and first as a pro) attended Virginia State College, where he was an all-conference golfer for two years and cum laude graduate in 1980. Wilson obtained a degree in accounting and now is employed by a local accounting firm.
He also was the medalist in the 1980 NAIA District 19 tournament, but is proud of his position as an NAIA academic all-America. "I always wanted to play pro golf," Wilson said, "but as I got older I learned that that's a hard grind.
"I'm just glad I had the opportunity to prepare myself to do something else. It takes money and exposure to make it on the pro tour and I'm still hopeful that one day I may get the backing to give the PGA tour a shot. I don't have to play golf to make a living like Lee Elder started out.
"By going to college I now have a chance to make a good living without golf. I just don't have that great desire to achieve the status of playing on the pro tour. The security of a college degree kind of took something away from me as far as golf goes."