A score of 77 doesn't usually turn heads at a golf tournament. Particularly when the scorer is Carol Gailey, many times a champion at Piney Branch.
This 77, however, was not posted under usual golfing conditions. In fact, one official termed play at the State Amateur's pre-qualifying round at Hillendale as "the most punishing ever remembered."
So when Gailey carded 77, he was greeted with congratulations. Not only did the score clinch a qualifying spot, but it also tied for second-best in the entire field.
"Rain and cold were so miserable," said state tournament chairman Bill Smith, "that we started to call things off three different times during the round."
As it turned out, it was Pat Tallent of Congressional who set the pace with 73. Gailey was tied at 77 with Steve Hull of Old South Country Club.
The soaking day also produced another Piney Branch qualifier in Rob Schmid. He needed nothing better than an 85 to move into the next qualifying stage, to be held at Fountain Head C.C. in Hagerstown on June 11.
Because of ever-increasing fields for the State Amateur, officials held preliminary qualifying rounds in both the Baltimore and Washington areas.
In Hagerstown, Gailey and Schmid will join 128 other first-round qualifiers. The field will be reduced to 32 for match play, starting June 12.
Having Gailey gain attention in the State Amateur is not new. It was some five years ago that Gailey made it into the match play round and promptly eliminated former Walker and World Cup member Marty West.
Asked about his 77 in the rain, Gailey replied, "Hanging onto your club was the main thing in all that rain. I struggled with a 40 going out, but came back in 37."
Oakmont Green, under construction in Hampstead, has pushed its opening back to June 6. The 18-hole course is privately owned, but will be open to the public. Par is 36-36-72 and measures 6,600 from the blue tees, 6,373 from the white markers and 5,139 from the red. The layout is off Route 30, directly across from North Carroll Plaza.
Sam Brutout is the latest member of golf's hole-in-one club. Brutout took a perfect swing on the ninth hole of Wakefield Valley's Green course to record his first ace. Bob Axman scored a hole in one on the ninth hole at Piney Branch.
Three members of Wakefield's pro staff participated in the club's annual "Beat the Pros" tournament. Pro scores (nine holes) were: 40, Leighton Thomas on the Green course; 38, Darrin Schildt on the White course; and 35, Bill Horney (head professional) on the Gold. Those who beat the pros (using handicaps) were Trevis Buckingham, Pat Smith, Howard Frymier and George Tears.
There was a two-way tie in Wakefield's two-man team competition. Tied with scores of 61 were the teams of Charles Walker and Bob Thomas, and Gus White and Howard Frymier.
Other leading team scores: 62, Bob Eltringham and John Gallagher; 64, Bob Barnhart and Sam Brutout; 64, Bob Blubaugh Sr. and Gus Hillard.
Winning foursomes in the Men's Day tourney at Bear Creek included: 56, Jerry Mullen, Ged Welsh and John and Keith Mason; 58, Don Fouse, Adam Fouse, Jesse Mullins and Chris Conklin.
A score of 122 won the 18-hole division of Piney Branch's mixed two-ball event. The team consisted of Ed Tobias, Ralph Wisner, Janie Winter and Doris Smelser. Other leading teams were: 126, Tim Hastings, Bob Henderson, John Winter and Martha Wisner; 126, Harry Barry, Elmer Bright, Joan Holland and Brantly Stansfield.