Rick Schuller of Fairfax shot 68 in his morning round at Montgomery Country Club, then carded 71 in the afternoon at Argyle, and his 36-hole total of 3-under-par 139 led eight U.S. Open local qualifiers yesterday.
Also advancing to the June 2 sectionals were Tony DeLuca of Vienna (72-70 -- 142), Glen Barrett of Glenn Dale (69-74 -- 143), Webb Heintzelman of Montgomery Village (71-73 -- 144), amateur John Haddock of Annandale (70-75 -- 145) and Al Morton of Hyattsville (69-77 -- 146). Amateur Rick Touma (72-75) of Montgomery and Greg Jerolaman (71-76) of Pompano Beach, Fla., survived a six-way playoff among players at 147.
Amateurs Perky Cullinane of Columbia (71-76) and Scott Inman of Springfield (71-76) and pros Ron Kelly of Richmond (73-74) and Dave Pigott of Newport News (74-73) were the playoff losers.
Schuller, a long-hitting former Old Dominion University golfer, had six birdies during a 4-under-par round at Montgomery. Among his successful birdie putts were a 40-footer, a 20-footer and a 15-footer.
"When I got on the green, it was pretty much in," said Schuller, 23, who turned pro in January after winning the Middle Atlantic Golf Association Amateur last fall. "I was putting well and I got confidence early."
Schuller said there was a "big change" from the Montgomery surfaces to the "slower and bumpier" Argyle greens. Schuller is taking a break from a busy Florida minitour schedule to try to qualify for the Kemper Open (May 29-June 2 at Congressional) and the U.S. Open.
Yesterday's survivors will play in the final-phase sectional U.S. Open qualifier June 2 at Army Navy against many of the PGA Tour pros coming off the Kemper. Leaders at the sectionals make the 86th U.S. Open, June 12-15 at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, N.Y.