Charlie Harris today set out in the Maryland State Amateur Golf Championship at Bethesda Country Club to prove two points -- again.
One is that age has nothing to do with his golf game. The other is that he's more than a home course player.
Harris, who opened defense of his state title today, along with 32 survivors of yesterday's qualifying round, became the oldest state winner in history when he won at age 54 last year. However, he is confident that age should not be a factor this time.
"I think my game is as steady now as any time since I started to play golf," said Harris. "In fact, I feel I'm longer off the tee now than when I was younger."
That Harris' state victory last year came over his home Country Club of Maryland course prompted belief that his talents were limited to home course fairways.
He answered this rap a month later by winning the Baltimore Amateur City crown at Towson Golf and Country Club. This made him the only golfer ever to hold both the Maryland State and City Amateur titles the same year.
Unlike many senior golfers, Harris has not been attracted to the long-shafted putters. But he continues to swing an extended 46-inch driver. This is almost 3 inches longer than an average shaft.
Sally Casey of Green Spring and Andrea Kraus of Woodholme are finalists in the women's Metropolitan Championship at Country Club of Maryland today. In yesterday's semifinal, played at Elkridge, Casey defeated Rolling Road's Kenya Chintrisna 3 and 2 and Kraus turned back Hobbits Glen's Joan Lins 7-5.
Marylanders Fred Funk and Webb Heintzelman are making strides on the pro tour front. Funk now is ranked 41st on the money list with earnings of $192,203 for the season. It also is noted that he is listed as the third leading touring player in driving accuracy.
Heintzelman, playing the Hogan Tour, is ninth on the money list with $31,200. He places sixth among Hogan scoring average leaders.
Next year's Kemper Open at Avenel will be in May, leaving sectional U.S. Open qualifiers free of touring pros . . . Those coming off the Kemper Open at Woodmont earlier this week captured 43 of the 44 qualifying spots . . . Officers for the Pine Ridge Seniors this year are Bob Dougherty (president), Hugh Conner, Danny Drigan and Bill Koehnlein.
The Towson Tiger Club's golf outing is listed for Hunt Valley on June 17. The event, which has a scramble format, will benefit Towson State's General Athletic Scholarship Fund. Phone 830-3284. Entries for the Maryland Open close June 26. The event is listed at Prospect Bay on July 8-10.
Entries for the Middle Atlantic Golf Association's Father-Son Championship have closed. The full field of 184 will vie at Prince George's CC on July 1 . . . Leroy Merritt, former Western Maryland College football player, scored an ace on the 10th hole at Rolling Road . . . Both youngsters and adults now can engage in collecting golf cards. The first-ever complete PGA Tour trading card collection is available nationwide. The complete 285-card sets are $25.