Cindy Davis of Prince Georges Country Club had trouble putting but shot 73 at Congressional's Gold Course yesterday to take a two-shot lead after the first round of the 36-hole Middle Atlantic Golf Association Women's Championship.

She missed two-foot putts at the ninth and 11th holes, and failed to drop several other makable ones.

Davis won in 1980 and 1981 and finished second last year to Kandi Kessler of Charlottesville, who is not playing this year because she is already back at college.

"I shot 73 but I felt like I shot a million," said Davis, who was second-low amateur in this summer's Women's U.S. Open after winning the Maryland Women's Amateur and Women's District titles. "I putted awful."

Davis, 21, will return to Furman Saturday for her senior year. It was the first time she had played the Gold Course, more restrictive than the Kemper Open 18. But it was not the woods and water that bothered her. After birdies on holes six and seven, she was very tentative on the greens. She planned to practice putting last night.

"I feel like I can break it open on this course tomorrow," she said.

Jane Abood of Kenwood was second at 75. Michelle Mackall of Washingtonian, high school golfer Sarah LeBrun of Baltimore's Green Spring Valley and Angie Munno of Argyle shot 76.

Penn State golfer Abood was four over par for a front-nine 39 but rebounded with a birdie on the 10th hole, saved par from a greenside bunker at the 17th hole and parred 18 for an incoming 36.