GRASONVILLE -- Henry Blue and David Newsom, operating at opposite ends of the day, produced the same result in the opening round of the 71st annual Maryland Open championship at Prospect Bay Country Club yesterday.
Blue had a 7 a.m. tee time and returned 34-3670, 2-under par for the 6,675-yard Queen Anne's County tract. Newsom, whose 1:40 p.m. starting time was more than two hours after Blue got in, also shot 34-36 70, and finished his round at 8:25 p.m.
A midafternoon thunderstorm forced a 1-hour, 25-minute suspension of play and resulted in the tournament being halted at 8:50 p.m. because of darkness. Eight players will complete their rounds this morning beginning at 7:30.
After they finish, the cut will be made to the low 60 and ties, with the players re-paired and sent out for the second round. Regardless of this morning's play, the cut fell at 76.
Blue, a highly regarded amateur from Green Spring Valley Hunt Cluband a former Baltimore City Amateur champion, collected two birdies on the front nine and a birdie and a bogey on the back.
Newsom, 26, an assistant professional at Hidden Creek CC in Reston, Va., birdied the first hole, holed a 40-yard wedge shot for an eagle-2 at the 310-yard eighth, and bogeyed the ninth to turn 2-under.
There were two short putts for birdies and two missed 4-footers for bogeys on the back.
Blue had not seen the course before his round, but Newsom, a George Mason University graduate, had a practice round last week.
Eight players had 71, including defending champion Bob Boyd of Woodmont CC and Tom Gross, a former Baltimore resident and TPC-Avenel assistant professional who finished second to Boyd a year ago at Bretton Woods Recreation Center.
The 72s included 1989 champion Chris Peddicord of Baltimore, competing unattached, and amateurs Greg Henry, from Beaver Creek CC in Hagerstown, and Jay Stosz, from Hobbit's Glen GC.
Among the 73s were amateur Marty West III of Columbia CC, a three-time champion; Bud Lintelman of Hidden Creek CC, who had the other back-nine 34; and tournament veteran Art Scott from BWI Golf Center, making his best start in this event in several years.
Boyd was on course for another round to rival his 62 and 64 of a year ago when he knocked in four front-side birdie putts, three of them from 15 feet.
On the back nine, he bogeyed the 13th and double-bogeyed the 15th, pulling an 8-iron shot into the water. "I putted very well on the front, not so well on the back," he said.
Although play was halted by darkness, golfers were allowed to complete the hole they were on, and it cost two players attempting to play the 608-yard No. 18, the signature hole of a tight and treacherous back nine that had claimed many high numbers.
Joe Cook, a pro from Army Navy, shot 33 on the front, ran into bogeys on the back, then could not find his drive on the last hole and quit. George Sakadales, an amateur from Germantown CC, turned in 32, was 1-under playing the last hole and made a double-bogey 7, and amateur Buddy Peoples was 1-under and double-bogeyed the 18th for 73.
NOTES: Chris Cantone of Cumberland made an 8-foot putt in the dark for 76 to lop off the 77s. . . . Lintelman and Martin Johnson of Kenwood had the day's best back nines, 34. Lintelman had four birdies on the back before making double bogey at the 18th. pTC . . . Gross' round included two birdies and a three-putt bogey. . . . Butch Butler said he never hit it better tee to green, but missed six putts under 4 feet for 71.
a-Henry Blue..... 34-36-70 David Newsom..... 34-36-70 Bob Boyd ........ 32-39-71 Gray Hamilton.... 35-36-71 Tom Gross ....... 36-35-71 Jim Estes ....... 35-36-71 Dennis Winters... 36-35-71 Butch Butler..... 35-36-71 Martin Johnson... 37-34-71 Eric Lawhon ..... 35-36-71 Mark Cherwien.... 34-38-72 Glen Barrett .... 35-37-72 Don Slebodnik.... 35-37-72 Brian Lehnhard... 36-36-72 Chris Peddicord.. 34-38-72 Jack Skilling.... 36-36-72 Fran Rhoads...... 35-37-72 Greg Henry ...... 35-37-72 a-Jay Stosz...... 35-37-72 a-Oliver Come.... 36-36-72 Art Scott ....... 37-36-73 Kevin Taylor..... 35-38-73 Jon Stanley ..... 38-35-73 Dave Quelland.... 36-37-73 Bud Lintelman.... 34-39-73 a-Marty West III..34-39-73 a-Britt Sloan.... 34-39-73 Larry Ringer..... 35-38-73 a-George Sakadales 32-41-73 a-Buddy Peoples.. 35-38-73 Jeff Dayton ..... 38-36-74 a-Bob Lutz ...... 36-38-74 John Huber ...... 35-39-74 Eric Egloff...... 36-38-74 Lee Carroll...... 36-38-74 Mark Guttenberg.. 35-39-74 John Haines ..... 35-39-74 Mark Garner ..... 39-36-75 Mark Helffrich... 36-39-75 Labron Harris ... 37-38-75 William Falls.... 34-41-75 John McNaney..... 36-39-75 Al Green... ..... 35-40-75 Phil Henry.... .. 38-37-75 a-Joe Franz...... 35-40-75 Glen Miller...... 36-39-75 Bob Bowes.... ... 38-37-75 Mac Main Jr. .... 37-38-75 a-Jim Castagna... 36-29-75 a-denotes amateur