Nancy Hollenbeck of Army Navy converted what she thought was a terrible golf shot into a par on the fourth hole and went on to shoot net 80-9--71 for a one-shot lead in the 36-hole Women's District Golf Association Keefer Cup yesterday at Chevy Chase Club.
Hollenbeck has a one-stroke lead over Dot Gates of Columbia (84-12--72). Four other players--Army Navy's Fran King (85-12--73) and Nada Ruess (86-13--73), Argyle's Gerry Kush (86-12--74) and Congressional's Arlene English (83-8--74)--were within three strokes of the leader going into today's final round.
Hitting off the tee on the par-3, 142-yard fourth hole yesterday, Hollenbeck made poor contact using a six-iron and feared she hit the ball into a creek guarding the green. "I thought I saw a splash, but the ball must have skipped to the other side," she said.
Hollenbeck, a retired Navy officer and former Keefer Cup champion, chipped her second shot 10 feet from the hole and sank the putt for one of her eight pars. She also had one birdie, on the second hole.
"I lucked out on that hole," Hollenbeck said. "When you are playing well, it goes for you."
Gates survived an unusual start and made two birdies on a windy final nine of 39. Before she stepped onto the course, Gates discovered her sand wedge was missing from her golf bag; her daughter had failed to return it. Gates drove home, returned, and opened with a mediocre 45 which included two double bogeys.
On her final nine, she made one birdie against the wind and one it at her back.
"The wind was like a hurricane," Gates said. "When you were hitting into it, you had to take two more clubs. When it was with you, two less than you normally would. It was tricky."
King knocked a five-wood shot into the hole for an eagle on the par-5 eighth hole. She and playing partner Mary Kauffman thought King's five-wood third shot went over the green. "I looked around behind the green and couldn't find the ball," King said. "And then I went and looked in the cup, and there it was."