Larry Ringer fired a two-over par 72 yesterday to take the opening-round lead by three strokes in the D.C. Metropolitan Open golf championship at Indian Spring.
The 36-year-old Ringer, head golf coach at the Naval Academy and former PGA tour player, used his putter to fashion four birdies on a long 6,838-yard course made more difficult by steady, gusting winds.
"I'm tired and cold but I'm feeling good," said Ringer who used an economical 29 putts on his round. Ringer is coming off back-to-back victories in the Rossmoor Leisure World and B'nai B'rith tournaments, the latter at Indian Spring.
"It's a great course, an absolutely great course. But when you have a wind like that out there, and then add those tee and pin placements, it's too tough," Ringer said.
The winds reached 25 miles per hour and harassed the 73 players (27 amateurs, 46 professionals) all day, resulting in just 22 scores under 80. Second in this three-day, 54-hole, $3,500 event are 1981 Mid-Atlantic PGA money leader Woody FitzHugh, Roger Simpkins and Art Scott at 75.
This year's event marks a resurrection for the Metropolitan Open, which died after 1952 because of lack of sponsorship. Indian Spring club pro Charley Bassler, who won the event 31 years ago, shot an 81 in his role as defending champion.