Lanny Wadkins was four down after 17 holes of the first round of the $250,000 World Match Play Championship in Virginia Water, England. But he beat South Africa's Gary Player in the 36-hole round, 2 and 1.

Two other Americans won. Bobby Clampett beat Japan's Massy Kuramoto, 5 and 4, and Tom Kite beat fellow American Curtis Strange, 2 and 1. So five Americans will compete in today's second round: Clampett vs. defending champion Seve Ballesteros of Spain, Wadkins vs. Australian Greg Norman, Ray Floyd vs. Britain's Sandy Lyle, and Kite vs. U.S. Masters champion Craig Stadler . . .

Locally, Bruce Lehnhard of Lake of the Woods and Dick Canney of Chantilly advanced to the final of the 36th annual Middle Atlantic PGA Match-Play championships at Rolling Road. It will be the first time two Virginians have played in the final.

Lehnhard, who won his quarterfinal over Bay Hills' Herb Rose, 4 and 2, lost the first two holes in his semifinal with John McNaney of Rolling Road. Then Lehnhard won the sixth, seventh and eighth holes to go one up and never trailed. McNaney defeated Larry Ringer of the Naval Academy in 19 holes in the quarterfinals.

Canney beat defending champion, Brian Staveley, 4 and 3, in the semifinals. Staveley missed three short putts, beginning with a three-footer on nine that would have tied the match. Canney won his morning match over Woodmont's Roger Simpkins, 1 up, and Staveley beat Paul Haviland, Maryland Golf and Country Club, in 20 holes.