Webb Heintzelman and Jeff Maggert are 200 miles, two gol tournaments and light-years apart this weekend.
Bethesda resident Heintzelman, 29, a two-year veteran of the PGA Tour, was in the western Pennsylvania town of Midway, competing in the $200,000 Quicksilver Open, richest of the 30 events on the Ben Hogan Tour. Heintzelman missed the cut by three strokes, shooting 73-76149.
Maggert, 27, the leading money-winner on the Hogan Tour last year, is in Potomac as an exempt member of the PGA Tour, competing in his first Kemper Open. He shot a 66 yesterday and stands tied for 35th at 8-under-par 205, 10 strokes off the lead.
"The big difference is the money, about one-tenth, and the small galleries, 200-300 with the last group," Heintzelman said during a visit to the Tournament Players Club at Avenel, site of the Kemper, early last week. "The events are run well, though; they are 54-hole tournaments, and we play the best course in each town.
"My experience on the big tour has helped my play on the Hogan. Actually, it has made me realize how nice it was, and it's where I want to go. Now, I'm taking the steps to get back there." A top-five finish on the money list will mean an automatic exemption. Now, he is seventh.
"When I came out of qualifying school [in a non-exempt status], I didn't want to play the Ben Hogan Tour," he said. "I could have been exempt for five events and a couple of satellites, but I went to the first Hogan event in Bakersfield [Calif.] and was impressed. Now, I'll probably play 29 of the 30 and then be able to look at myself and, regardless of what happens, say that I
gave it my best shot."
His best finish has been a third, but he has had seven top-10 finishes in 13 events and is comfortable being in contention. He said he thinks a win will come and says, "My confidence level is high."
"Mr. Brundred [Kemper general chairman Ben Brundred Jr.] wanted to give me an exemption here, but I thought I could do better at the Quicksilver. I know when/if I make it back, I'll be sharper and a lot smarter."
Meanwhile, Maggert, from The Woodlands, Texas, who took $108,644 out of the Hogan program last year, is even with eight checks and eight missed cuts in 16 starts on the PGA Tour. He cites "a lot of confidence carrying over from last year," as the chief reason he tied for fifth in his first event and for 15th a couple of weeks later. Since then, a tie for 12th at Greensboro has been his only appearance in the top 50.
"I haven't put four rounds together yet," he said after making an eight-foot putt at his last hole Friday to get to 3-under and make the cut with a shot to spare. "You can't think about that, though. You just go out and play each shot the best you can and what happens happens.
"As for being a rookie, I'm used to the travel, and you learn about the other things. The hardest thing is that for five years I strove to get here and now I have to say, 'What are you going to do with it.' I have to prove to myself all over that I belong."
Since February, his game has flipped, and he lost some of that confidence. "Now, I'm starting to get it back. I'm making a lot of birdies, but too many bogeys. I'm on the verge of playing good golf. I just have to settle down and let things happen."
* Ben Crenshaw will be the most notable name when 167 players pros and 12 amateurs) shoot for 43 available places in tomorrow's U.S. Open qualifying program at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville. Crenshaw, who failed to fit into any of the 12 categories for full exemption, will be in an Open qualifier for the first time since 1974.
Others in the field include new Woodholme Country Club assistant professional Wayne DeFrancesco; John McNaney, Country Road DR; Kirk Lombardi, Norbeck; Jack Skilling, Columbia Country Club; Fred Funk of Laurel; Frederick native Donnie Hammond; and Heintzelman.
Mary Beth Walters of Pinehurst, N.C. (80) and Sarah Kayson, of Washington (83) were the qualifiers for the U.S. Women's Public Links championship from last week's six-player event at Springfield, Va. The championship will be June 19-23 at the Birdwood Course in Charlottesville, Va. . . . The 15th annual Save-A-Heart charity golf tournament will be held June 10-11 at Turf Valley Country Club. For information, call 653-3131.