The Western Maryland championship and the Farmington Invitation, a pair of long-running tournaments, will provide the highlight for area men and women amateurs this week.
The 28th Western Maryland Amateur, a 54-hole stroke event to be held Friday through Sunday at Oakland Country Club, annually attracts some of the top players from the Baltimore-Washington and Tri-State regions. Past winners include current PGA Tour member Donnie Hammond and former Maryland State Amateur champion Kirk Lombardi.
Although all play is at scratch, there is no handicap limit for the entries. The top 60 per cent will be in a championship flight, and the remainder will be flighted for the final round. Prizes will be awarded to more than 40 per cent of the field.
A field of approximately 120 is expected, and club professional Wheeler Stewart reports a few places are still available.
At Charlottesville, Va., the 37th annual Farmington Invitation, a 54-hole stroke event due Tuesday through Thursday, has once again drawn a stellar field. At least 35 of the 103 entries have a handicap of 8 and under, and the group includes past champions Jane Mason and Robbye Youel, long-time tournament director.
Shannon Hanley, last year's winner, is ineligible, as she has turned professional.
The men's amateur championship of the Maryland State Golf Association, beset by a popularity that has seen its entries steadily increase in recent years, has taken a long-expected step by adding a local qualifying round to accommodate these numbers.
The new format, to begin in 1992, calls for this round to be played at two sites -- presumably the Baltimore and Washington areas -- on June 1, with a total of 120 players advancing to the traditional on-site qualifying round. Next year's championship will held at Fountain Head CC in Hagerstown.
"This will be the only change," said Ned Pugh, Maryland State president. "Our eligibility requirements and structure of the championship will remain."
That means the on-site players will be seeking 32 places in a match-play draw. The tournament proper will be held June 11-14.
With the Amateur attracting 208 entries, and the organization's Maryland Open drawing 205, there had been some thought given to reducing the slope index, but it will remain at 3.4.
In other actions taken by Maryland State officials, the prize money for the Open, listed for Prince George's CC, was increased from $15,000 to $20,000, with the winner's share boosted from $2,500 to $4,000.
For 1991, the body opened its men's and women's amateurs, Open, and Mid-Amateur to include residents of Maryland with the required index, as well as members of member clubs. For 1992, this policy has been extended to its Junior Boys and Girls championships.
Entry deadlines: Maryland State Golf Association--Aug. 28 for Senior Men's championship to be held Sept. 6, at Chartwell CC.
Middle Atlantic Golf Association--Aug. 22 for Senior Men to be held Aug. 29, Willow Oaks CC, Richmond; Aug. 23 for Women's Amateur to be held Sept. 4-5, Turf Valley CC.
This week's schedule: Tuesday--Middle Atlantic Golf Association Juniors, Argyle CC, 8 a.m.; Women's Golf Association, Baltimore CC and Sparrows Point CC, 999 a.m. Friday--Middle Atlantic PGA pro-lady, Indian Spring CC, 8 a.m.