'Moose' scores 78 in first Open Baltimorean, 25, reaches Round 2

June 18, 1993|By John Steadman | John Steadman,Staff Writer

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- It was more than just another day at the golf course for David "Moose" Brown, who handled the first-round pressures of the U.S. Open with exceptional emotional control for an untested challenger.

Brown's score of 78 was far from an embarrassment. A 25-year-old from Baltimore's Mount St. Joseph's High School who is an assistant pro at the Country Club of York, he shot 39 on the first and second nines, which added up to 8-over par.

Followed every step of the way by his parents, Hugh and Doree, and his brother and two sisters, the Browns made it something of a joyfulfamily outing. The hope expressed by spectators was that "Moose," after bogeys on two of the first three holes, wouldn't start to put up a succession of high numbers . . . and he didn't.

Brown was hitting the ball with crisp authority but his shots carried over the greens on holes 5, 8, 10, 13, 15 and 17. Heading back to the cup, he was coming downhill and this is not considered the ideal approach at Baltusrol Golf Club, one of America's most demanding courses.

"All joking aside," he said, "I had fun. I didn't hit the ball all that badly nor all that well. I honestly was never that close to the hole all day."

He thought his performance should have been better, but this was being too critical, considering how he fought to hold his game together and never became chaotic.

"Put it this way," he said later in the locker room. "I was happy to be here but not with what I was able to do. Too many of those shots I hit overthe green just had too much smoke on them. I guess I didn't have a true chance at a birdie putt until the final hole."

Included in the gallery accompanying Brown was a friend, Jim Frey, a former Orioles coach and later a manager of the Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs and, subsequently, the Cubs' general manager.

"I thought for a youngster in this kind of an environment, the U.S. Open, he held together real well," said Frey. "He could have fallen apart but he never came close to doing that."

Brown was teamed with Steve Stricker of Edgerton, Wis., and Tad Rhyan of Sarasota, Fla. He will be with the same group for the second round of play. The lowest 36-hole scores of the top 60 players and ties will qualify for the final two rounds, or any

golfer within 10 strokes of the leader.

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