For Alcott, Fame is as near as a win tomorrow

May 16, 1992|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Staff Writer

BETHESDA -- After a second round that placed her 4-under par and among the leaders in the Mazda LPGA Championship, veteran Amy Alcott offered her philosophy on winning.

"Winning is an elusive thing," Alcott said. "It's right there. I want to be able to touch it and tuck it in."

After winning the Nabisco Dinah Shore tournament last year, Alcott needed to "tuck in" one more victory to give her 30 for her career and automatic entry into the LPGA Hall of Fame. Nearly 14 months later, Alcott is still a Hall of Famer to be and this weekend tries to become the 13th member of the elite group by winning the only major tournament that has eluded her.

Alcott is four shots behind Betsy King (8-under after two rounds). But Alcott has found a comfort zone playing at the Bethesda Country Club, which she hopes will translate into a consistent four rounds of play.

"I hit the ball well, I scrambled when I had to and I made my share of putts," said Alcott, who, despite starting in a light rain, shot a 2-under 69. "It's really quite pleasant out there. I like the old classic courses with small greens -- not a lot of hocus pocus. I'm confident on courses that are more established."

Established. A fitting description of Alcott's career, which began in 1975 and has included two winless seasons. In 1980 Alcott was named the Golf magazine Player of the Year when she won four tournaments, including the U.S. Women's Open. Her win in the 1991 Nabisco Dinah Shore was the fifth major of her career, and she needs to win the Mazda LPGA Championship to become the second player in LPGA history to capture the four modern majors (Pat Bradley did it in 1986).

Starting yesterday's round on the back nine at 2-under par, Alcott fell to 1-under after bogeying 11th hole (196 yards, par-3). But three birdies on the rest of the back nine helped her make the turn at 3-under.

A near-disaster on the first hole when her drive got caught up in a sprinkler was saved when she hit her second shot, from a downhill lie, onto the green and two-putted for par. "It was a turning point," Alcott said of the hole. "Just to hit the green [on her second shot] was a great golf shot."

A birdie on the next hole and par the rest of the round put Alcott in decent position at the tournament's midway point.

"I didn't win [tournaments] always trying to think win, win, win," said Alcott, who has twice finished second in the Mazda LPGA Championship -- most recently in 1988. "It just happens. You just have to place your way into contention and have a chance. That's what I'm trying to do."

And if she wins, Alcott will find herself officially among the legends of women's golf. If she doesn't win, the woman who said she was once thought of as being "cocky, brash and arrogant" thinks she's among the game's elite players, anyway.

"If I didn't play golf tomorrow, I still think I'm in the Amy Alcott Hall of Fame," Alcott said. "I deserve to be in the LPGA Hall of Fame."

She will be. If not this weekend, then most likely sometime in the near future.

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