Johnny Allen of Birmingham, finished in near darkness with six-under-par 66 last night to take the first-round lead of the 36-hole Capital City Open at Langston Golf Course.
Jimmy Westley of Savannah, Ga., eagled his final hole, knocking in a 20-footer, and is two strokes back. Sixteen players were unable to finish before dark and will return this morning to complete their first round.
Rodney Lathern of Landover was best among the golfers who had not finished, two under par with one hole remaining. Manning Mullins of Washington was one under with one hole to play.
Rodney Green of Annapolis was next at 69, followed at 70 by David Graham of Melbourne, Fla., and Craig Gunn of Danville, Va.
Herb Summers of Washington made a hole-in-one on the third hole en route to a 71 and a tie with Wiley Williams of East Orange, N.J., and Bruce Bird of Vero Beach, Fla.
A late shotgun start and rounds that took six hours to play resulted in trying conditions.
Westley's eagle came with no daylight left.
"I could vaguely see the pin," he said. "I hit the putt at the pin and it went in."
Allen, who was two shots off the lead here last year before finishing fifth, ended bogey-par in the dark. But he had done excellent work before then, with seven birdies.
"I should have shot 63 today," said Allen, 41, who won last year's Lee Elder Invitational.
"There's a lot of good players in this field. A lot of experience. I hope I've learned from it."
Ron Terry of Tampa, the two-time defending champion, shot 73.
"I had four three-putts. My putter kind of let me down," said Terry, who played his junior golf at this Washington public course. "Today I hit it pretty good. I have to shoot 66 tomorrow."
Tournament director Thomas Clomax said the late start of the afternoon pro division was caused by a delayed start of 144 players in morning amateur, women's and celebrity flights, who had to finish before the 143-golfer afternoon divisions of pros, championship amateurs and championship seniors could play.
Clomax said 22 extra carts were ordered for the big morning field and were expected to be delivered Friday night, but were not trucked in until early yesterday morning. That set back the start of the morning groups from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 and stalled the start of the afternoon pro division about two hours.
They are scheduled to start the final round this afternoon at 1.