Rain, basically too much of it, was the order of the day during the first round of the 25th anniversary Maryland Stroke Play championship yesterday at Mount Pleasant Golf Course.
It provided minor problems for the morning players, caused a two-hour delay in mid-afternoon, and finally forced a suspension of play early in the evening.
The conditions made heroes of the course superintendent and his crew because not only did the course draw rave notices, but the workers did a masterful job of battling the elements in an attempt to get in as much of the round as possible.
The round will be completed, weather permitting, this morning, beginning at 7. The second round will follow.
With half the field in, the early leader was Buddy Peoples of
Crofton Country Club, who recorded 36-34--70, against a par of 36-35--71 for the 6,700-yard Hillen Road course.
Peoples, a one-time runner-up in this event, started at No. 10, birdied his first hole, then ran off eight straight pars. On the front, he birdied the second hole and sandwiched another birdie at the eighth around a pair of bogeys.
"I have a 'Big Bertha' driver that has given me some length to go with a good short game, and the greens were perfect," he said.
Four players shot 72, including defending champion Justin Klein, who hit his opening tee shot out of bounds at the 542-yard first hole, then recovered to get up-and-down from a green-side bunker to salvage a bogey. He got back on track at the second with the first of his three birdies, and went on to finish 38-34.
Joining him at 1 over were Keith Janecek, Tony Solesky, and Gary Moore, a past Maryland State Amateur champion. Five were at 73, including perennial challengers Larry Storck and Joel Kaye, and four were at 74, including former City Amateur titlist Sheldon Kalish.
The annual 54-hole tournament attracted its best-ever field. In addition to six former champions, there were another half-dozen who had won the City Amateur, and three ex-Maryland State Amateur titleholders.
Buddy Peoples 36-3470; Keith Janecek 38-3472; Tony Solesky 37-3572; Gary Moore 36-3672; Justin Klein 38-3472; David Kaplan 38-3573; Larry Storck 36-3773; Jon Newlon 37-3673; Gary Sutton 37-3673; Joel Kaye 37-3673; Bob Lee 39-3574; Bob Lentz 37-3774; Mitch Wyatt 37-3774; Sheldon Kalish 38-3674; Ray Daue 39-3675; Jack Soliman 38-3775; Robert Duva 40-3575; Bill Stout 38-3775; Jerry Iorizzo 37-3875.