HERSHEY, Pa. -- On the professional golf tours, if a name keeps showing up among the leaders, it's not long before people start to pay attention.
On the LPGA tour, there have been five first-time winners already this year, and it's a good bet there are others looming on the fringe. One solid choice is Donna Andrews, 25, a third-year tourist out of Lynchburg, Va.
Andrews has shown improvement in each of her seasons,
especially this one. Beginning with Centel the first weekend in May, she has played five events and finished in the top 17 each time, including a second and a ninth. Her $111,000 in earnings is almost as much as she made in her first two years combined.
"I've hit it as well as anybody, but I haven't putted well. I made some swing changes a year ago, and they are starting to work. I hurt my back before Centel, and it forced me to work on my short game rather than hit balls.
"I've played with those who putted well, and I know that's the game. I've been hitting 13-16 greens and shooting around par."
She got a learning experience at the Inamori Classic in March when she was tied for the first-round lead, then shot 77, and in her words, "fell apart."
The next time she got in that situation, she handled it much better. She opened 70-67 for the lead in the 54-hole Crestar event at Chesapeake, Va., shot 73 the last day and lost out to a charging Jennifer Wyatt, who shot 67, and won by two.
"I had put high expectations on myself in the past, but there, I was relaxed, not expecting as much. The result was not as much pressure," said Andrews, a five-time Virginia State Amateur and two-time North and South champion, who had a large contingent of family and friends in the gallery.
A 1989 graduate of the University of North Carolina with a degree in business administration, Andrews' best outing in her rookie year, 1990, was a tie for fifth. She had a tie for fourth last year.
In Friday's rain-delayed opening round of the Lady Keystone Open at Hershey CC, Andrews shot 34-36--70. Coming in, she saved par from a cart path at No. 17 (10-foot putt), and from a bunker at No. 18 (15-foot putt).
She cited fatigue and (lack of) concentration as reasons for struggling down the stretch.
Former Baltimorean John Albert is enthusiastic about the development of Greencastle Greens, a public course in southern Pennsylvania, where he is the head professional.
Robert Elder is the architect/owner. The layout -- 7,000 yards from the back tees -- features 10 holes with lakes or ponds. "Each hole is a separate challenge," Albert said Friday while taking in the first round of the Lady Keystone Open.
"We're about two hours from Baltimore -- above Hagerstown and west of Waynesboro -- and are getting some play from that area. Overall, we average between 175-225 rounds a day."
Albert served as co-head professional at the Elkridge Club in the late 1970s, and later put in eight years as a teaching professional at Hunt Valley GC.
The Country Club of Maryland made it four titles in six years single ones were won by Fountain Head and Maryland Golf & CC) when it defeated Chartwell CC, 13-5, for the Free State Seniors Trophy, emblematic of the team crown.
It was the second straight final-round loss for Chartwell, which had to outlast Hillendale by one match, and used a win by its No. 1 team to thwart Eagle's Nest after the two had tied 9-9 in the semifinals.
Current Free State Seniors champion Jerry Phipps was joined on the winning team by Charlie Harris, Bill Dornbusch, and Jackie Rites.
This week's schedule: Today--Baltimore Publinx championship Forest Park GC, 8 a.m. Tomorrow--Middle Atlantic PGA pro-am, Lakewood CC, 7:30 a.m. Tuesday-- Women's Golf Association, Hobbit's Glen and Turf Valley, 9 a.m. Wednesday--USGA Public Links sectional qualifying, Redgate GC, Rockville, 8 a.m. Friday--Middle Atlantic PGA pro-am, Redgate GC, 8 a.m.