The coincidence was too good to ignore.
During last weekend's Baltimore City Amateur Invitation tournament, the silver championship bowl, with all the champions' names engraved, was on display.
A discussion among several officials, whose local golfing roots go back more than 30 years, centered on the fact that one of the former champions had made the cut in the Senior Open and was playing at Oakland Hills even as they talked.
Dick Goerlich won the City Amateur title in 1963 and left Baltimore in 1965, reason enough for him to be surprised when a curious caller reached him at his home in Tampa, Fla.
In last weekend's Senior Open at Oakland Hills CC in Birmingham, Mich., Goerlich, 58, was one of five amateurs to play all four rounds, and the only true Senior. The sponsoring United States Golf Association has an eligible age of 55 for its Senior Amateur championship, but only 50 for its Senior Open.
He posted 73-78-77-78306 and was enthusiastic about the event and renewing friendships.
Of his background, he said: "I was in Baltimore 1963-64-65 and HTC worked for Bethlehem Steel at its Key Highway plant. While I was there, I belonged to Hillendale and played a lot of golf with Maury Bailey."
Bailey was another City Amateur champion, winning four times in six years, beginning with the inaugural event in 1955, before he, too, moved out of town.
"I went from Baltimore to Beaumont, Texas, and came over here [Tampa] in 1973," Goerlich said. "I set up my own shipyard and ran that until it closed in 1984. Not surprising, either, given the maritime economy at the time. Now, I'm out of shipbuilding and into marine investments and equipment."
Much closer to his heart is his golf game, something at which he has been particularly successful in recent years.
Last year, he qualified for the U.S. Open at Medinah, and in his background is participation in three U.S. Senior Amateur championships.
In addition, he has done well in championships conducted by several Seniors association, including the prestigious Society of Seniors.
A field of 85 players will vie for five places in the U.S. Amateur championship in a 36-hole sectional qualifier at Crofton CC tomorrow. The 91st annual event will be held Aug. 20-25, at the Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn. Phil Mickelson is the defending champion.
Katie O'Neil of the CC of Maryland is the defender and one of five past winners in the field for the 47th annual stroke-play championship of the Women's Golf Association. The 36-hole event is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at the Elkridge Club.
Others in the 62-player tournament include Mary Ann Cooke of Baltimore CC (13 victories); Bonnie Fry, Maryland Golf & CC (six); Cindy Peterka, Sparrows Point CC (two); and Joanne L. Smith, Suburban (one).
The annual 36-hole Assistants championship of the Middle Atlantic PGA is scheduled for tomorrow and Tuesday in the Richmond, Va., area. Tomorrow's round for the 165 entries will be at Brandermill CC and Tuesday's at River's Bend CC.
Entry deadlines: Maryland State Golf Association -- Wednesday for the Men's Mid-Amateur championship (Talbot CC, Easton, Aug. 19-20). A full field has forced the closing of entries for the Father-Son championship (Woodmont CC, Rockville, Aug. 23).
United States Golf Association -- Wednesday for the Senior Amateur (Frankfort, Mich., Sept. 16-21); Wednesday for the Women's Mid-Amateur (Scottsdale, Ariz., Sept. 21-26).
* This week's schedule: Tomorrow: U.S. Amateur qualifying, Crofton CC, 7:15 a.m.; Middle Atlantic PGA Assistants championship, Brandermill CC, Midlothian, Va., 7:15 a.m. Tuesday: Middle Atlantic PGA Assistants championship, River's Bend CC, Chester, Va., 7:15 a.m.; Women's Golf Association championship, Elkridge Club, 8:30 a.m. Wednesday: Women's Golf Association championship, Elkridge Club, 8:30 a.m. Thursday: Middle Atlantic PGA Junior championship (Nordlinger Cup), Mount Vernon CC, Alexandria, Va., 8 a.m. Friday: Middle
Atlantic PGA pro-am, Talbot CC, Easton, 8 a.m.