Rick Hudak, an amateur from Abingdon in Harford County, who had led local qualifying with a drive of 316 yards at Longview Golf Course last month, continued his success at the sectional level of the Chrysler National Long Driving contest at Shannon Green in Fredericksburg, Va.
Hudak, 33, a project manager for the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation, led a 24-man field with a drive of 328 yards. From that group, the top 12 advanced to the District (Middle Atlantic, Carolinas, and Kentucky) finals, scheduled for Aug. 17 at Eaglewood GC, Langley AFB in Hampton, Va.
From the district finals (12 from each of the three sections), the winner will advance to the national finals, Sept. 12-15, at the Boca Raton Resort in Boca Raton, Fla.
Hudak, who tried the event two years ago, reaching the second round, uses his regular driver for the competition, rather than a custom-designed model favored by many of the big hitters. His best shot was a drive of 361 yards on No. 15 at Pine Ridge GC during a scramble tournament.
A 4-handicapper, Hudak sees different pressures in a long-drive contest as opposed to a regular round of golf.
"It's a matter of concentration," he says. "On the one hand, from a total of six balls, you figure two or three to get one in bounds, and then you can go for it with the rest of them.
"In a round of golf or more importantly, a prestigious championship like the Maryland Stroke Play [where he missed the cut in the recent event], every shot counts. There is no second chance."
The other qualifiers: Pros Alec Brogan, Woodholme CC; Dave Mondy, Blacksburg, Va.; Dave West, West Chester, Pa.; Bill Morrow, Richmond, Va.; and Jon LeSage, Columbia CC, and amateurs Robert Jones, Sykesville; John St. George, Norfolk, Va.; Richard Arnold, Poolesville; John Warring III, Kensington; Alan Beddow, Logan, W. Va.; and Dan Robinson, Berryville, Va.
John McNaney of the Country Road Driving Range in Frederick, and Marty Johnson, an assistant at Kenwood CC, shot 4-under-par 66s to share scoring honors among the 57 pros in Friday's Middle Atlantic PGA pro-am at Bowie Golf & CC.
In getting a piece of his fifth win of the season, McNaney birdied three of the first four holes and finished with five birdies and a bogey in his 32-34. Johnson, an infrequent tournament player, had three birdies and a bogey on each side in putting up 33-33.
Other scoring standouts included Senior Bill Sporre of Crofton CC, who had the low front nine, a 31, on his way to solo third at 67. Glenn McCloskey of the University of Maryland had the low back nine, a 32, en route to 68, and Jimmy Hyams of Woodholme CC finished birdie-birdie for 69, his second tournament round in their 60s this season.
With Sporre taking third-place money, host pro Fred Ryder became low Senior with 73.
The pairing of Mark Spolarich-Steve Thomas of Crofton Country Club, a playoff loser last year, is among the favorites for the 34th annual Maryland State Golf Association pro-am championship at Caroline CC in Denton tomorrow.
Among the other 78 teams entered is the 1989 championship entry of Ricky Touma-Jim Castagna from Norbeck. Also in the field is Woodmont professional Bob Boyd, third last year with Mike Hillman and back this time with Ron Bubes.
Others include professionals Dennis Satyshur of Caves Valley and Larry Ringer of Prince George's, each a two-time champion, and one-time winner Bill Sporre of Crofton.
Last year's winning team, Bobby Ashton-Bill Stout of Germantown, is not entered.
Sectional qualifying for the 91st United States Women's Amateur championship will be held Tuesday at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase. There are 24 entries for eight available places in the championship, listed for Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kansas, Aug. 5-10.
Among the entries are Bonnie Fry, Maryland Golf; Andrea Kraus, Woodholme; Katie O'Neil, CC Maryland; Cindy Peterka, Sparrows Point, and Pam Soliman, Eagle's Nest. Also in the field is Shannon Hanley of Congressional, the new Maryland State Women's Amateur champion.
The Maryland State Golf Association will hold its 54th Junior Boys (49 entries) and 17th Junior Girls (5 entries) championships Tuesday at Lake Arbor Golf Club in Mitchellville. Jimmy Duke of Congressional returns to defend his overall Boys title. Girls winner Pam Soliman is 18 and ineligible to defend her crown.
In national competition this week, Mike McGinnis, head professional at Holly Hills in Ijamsville, and professional Chuck Ebner of Baltimore, plus amateurs Dave King of Bethesda and Ralph Bogart of the Chevy Chase Club are entered in the U.S. Senior Open, beginning Thursday at Oakland Hills Country Club in Birmingham, Mich.
Also, Justin Klein of Hunt Valley is in the U.S. Junior championship, starting Tuesday at the Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Fla.
Entry deadlines: United States Golf Association--Aug. 7 for the Senior Amateur (Frankfort, Mich., Sept. 16-21); Aug. 7 for the Women's Mid-Amateur (Scottsdale, Ariz., Sept. 21-26).