Washington's Lee Elder has been released from Howard University Hospital after spending last weekend in traction to relieve a slipped disk suffered before the final round of the Westchester Classic.
Elder, 48, plans to play in the Western Open starting Thursday near Chicago. "I feel much better," he said Friday. "I have just come in from hitting balls."
Two weeks ago at Westchester, Elder had moved within two shots of the lead after a third round 65. He injured his back on the practice tee prior to his final round and finished with a disappointing 75, tied for 10th, and won $9,975.
"I hit a few short shots and it didn't hurt me," Elder said. "But then I hit a few long shots and it started hurting.
"I really felt it kept me from winning the tournament or finishing real high. I couldn't shift all of my weight to the right side in the backswing, that was my problem.
"I had played five straight weeks and the doctor said that put too much strain on the back. I won't try that again."
Several Redskins, Capitals and Federals players will play in the Vince Lombardi Memorial golf and tennis tournament Monday at Indian Spring. The event has raised more than $1 million for cancer research in 12 years. An added 10-kilometer foot race takes place this morning in Georgetown at 7:30 . . . Two hundred amateurs, shooting for a record 110 prizes, and 66 pros will play in the two-day Middle Atlantic PGA Pro-am Monday at Allview and Tuesday at Hobbit's Glen . . . Runner-up in recent Florida qualifying for the PGA National Long Drive Championship, with a poke of 331 yards, was a 14-year-old from Benjamin School named Gary Nicklaus, Jack Nicklaus' son. The winner was Gary Wiren, 47, the PGA director of learning and research, who hit his first ball 381 yards. Wade Heintzelman of Washingtonian won a North Carolina qualifier with a 295-yard drive. The finals will be televised the weekend of the PGA at Riviera (Calif.), Aug. 4-7 . . . The Frank Emmet Schoolboy Championship, renamed from the Metropolitan Schoolboy in honor of the late Mr. Emmet, will begin Monday at Manor. Originally, the 14-15 age group was to qualify at Kenwood. Now all ages are scheduled for Manor . . . The greens at Oakmont, site of last week's U.S. Open, are slow, compared to linoleum floors. The stimpmeter, a small, precision ramp the U.S. Golf Association uses to measure the speed of greens, sends the golf ball rolling 21 feet on linoleum. For Oakmont, some of the fastest greens the pros see, the reading was 11.5 feet. The stimpmeter average for U.S. courses is 6.6 feet. Oakmont's members prefer their surfaces faster than the Open, at about 13 feet . . . .A few spots still remain for the Middle Atlantic PGA Junior Golf Academy July 24-29 at Sigwick Inn and Golf Club (formerly Leesburg Golf and CC). Sigwick assistant pro Mike Arnsbrak is director this year after two years as assistant to George Jakovics. After 40 students the first year and 79 last year, about 100 boys and girls are at expected in the ages 12-18 live-in school. The highlight of the six days will be a pro-junior July 28; MAPGA pros will play with the juniors and a banquet will follow.