Shooting a 6-over-par 78 yesterday at the American Junior Golf Association Junior Classic in Boylston, Mass., meant something different to Joe Monte than it would have a short time ago.

"I'm not very pleased at all," said Monte, a 16-year-old rising junior at Chantilly High School. "Two winters ago, I would have been fine with [the score]. But it's different now."

Nothing is the same since Monte, who couldn't break 70 until June, started shooting low numbers consistently. His 78 yesterday on a windy day at Cyprian Keyes Golf Club was just his third over-par round in the last month.

"A winter or two ago, I probably wouldn't have been able to know why the 78 came," he said. "Now I know exactly why it came. I know exactly what I need to fix."

Despite his high score in the second round, Monte, whose 69 Monday was the only score under par in the first round, is tied for fourth place, just one shot behind the leaders. Entering today's final round, Monte is in contention for a tournament title for the third straight week.

Two weeks ago, he held the lead on the final day of the prestigious Westfield Junior PGA Championship. Last week, he advanced to the round of 16 at the U.S. Junior Amateur.

"It's taken two years of hard work just to get here," Monte said. "I've been playing a lot. I've been practicing a lot. My goal this summer was to be one of the top juniors in the country and play with the top juniors in the country and be able to compete. The scores were basically an overnight sensation, but I knew it was going to come sometime soon."

Now that he has accomplished more than he expected at the start of the summer, Monte has had to revise his goals. His latest ambition is to win both a high school title and state junior championship like Daniel Kefale, the All-Met Co-Golfer of the Year from Osbourn Park, who became the first to do so last year. He will begin that quest Tuesday at Lowes Island Club in the Virginia State Golf Association junior amateur.

Savage Takes on Trianna

Shelley Savage of Arlington, the reigning VSGA senior women's stroke play champion, will play Jericho Trianna of Herndon in today's quarterfinals of the 48th Virginia Senior Women's Amateur at the Homestead's Old Course. Arline Hoffman of Alexandria plays Joan Darden of Glen Allen in another quarterfinal match. . . .

Joe Scheffres of Rockville was the co-medalist of the U.S. Amateur qualifier at Hayfield Country Club on Monday. Scheffres shot 71-68 -- 139 and tied with Edoardo Molinari of Turin, Italy. Ryan Tendall of Potomac (71-68 -- 139), Joey McLister of Leesburg (70-69 -- 139), Vance Welch of Cross Creek (69-71 -- 140) and Skip Clasper of College Park (66-75 -- 141) qualified for the U.S. Amateur at Four Streams Club on Monday and Tuesday. . . .

Pat Tallent, 51, of Vienna, and James Castagna, 55, of Sandy Spring, are playing in the U.S. Senior Open, which begins today at NCR Country Club in Kettering, Ohio. It is the second U.S. Senior Open for both men.