CHEVY CHASE -- Henry Kerfoot celebrated his 59th birthday in style yesterday, shooting a 1-over-par 38-3371 to earn the medal in U.S. Senior Open qualifying at Columbia Country Club.
Kerfoot, an amateur from Washington Golf & CC in Arlington, Va., was joined by pros Bob Bilbo of Argyle CC and Chuck Thorpe, playing from Bowie G&CC, with 73s, and amateur Dave King of Bethesda CC, 74, who survived a three-for-one-spot playoff that went four holes.
Kerfoot, in his first USGA event since qualifying for the 1951 U.S. Juniors, played the last 10 holes in 2-under par, after marring his front nine with a pair of three-putt greens and an out-going effort that was three-over par.
The past winner of the Virginia State and Middle Atlantic Senior ++ titles, Kerfoot birdied the 10th hole from six feet and the 14th from two.
He was never near a bogey for the last 10 holes except at the 290-yard 17th, where his tee shot landed in a divot, he drove his second into the bank in front of the green, then pitched to 10
feet and made the par-saving putt.
Bilbo and Thorpe, older brother of PGA Tour regular Jim Thorpe, each made the event for the first time. Bilbo, the head pro at Argyle, who turned 50 last month, included two birdies on putts inside of 15 feet in his round of 36-37 over the 6,545-yard layout, and Thorpe, 50, called his 36-37 "an up-and-down round" that included a birdie and four bogeys.
King, who achieved a measure of fame two years ago when he qualified for this event the first time at age 49 (his birthday was between the qualifying round and the tournament), played the ++ first 14 holes in one-over par, then almost had it get away because of dehydration, as he bogeyed the 15th and double-bogeyed the 16th for 35-39.
In the playoff, amateur Paul Erhardt (40-34) of Wilmington, Del., went out at the first hole, and Dick Canney (36-38), head pro at Chantilly National in Centreville, Va., went out at the fourth extra hole.
Lance Poe shot a 7-under-par 63, and whipped a 54-man professional field by three strokes in the annual Middle Atlantic PGA event.
Leading pros: Lance Poe 63; Butch Butler 66; Fran Rhodes 66; Alex Lively 66; Phil Henry 67; Larry Ringer 67; Rob Ferguson 67; Bob Bowes 68; John Huber 68; Bill Molloy 68.
Amateur gross: C. Mariner 66; Charles Harris 67; A. Bogle 69; Jack Rites 70. Amateur net: S. Rochinski 60; B. Sass 61; N. Spinnato 61; D. Fisher 62. Team gross: Lance Poe, Charles Harris, Jack Rites, Ed Vernic 124. Team net: Larry Ringer, Dick Fisher, Jim St. Marie, Michael Ventura 117.
Wes Lovell, 15, rolled in a 40-foot birdie putt from the back of the 18th green for a round of 40-3676 at Pine Ridge Golf Course and won the competitive phase of the eighth annual Russ Menta Memorial Scholarship program conducted by the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation.
Michael Schimpf, 17, was tied with Lovell through 16, birdied the 17th for a one-stroke lead, then faltered with a bogey-6 at the last hole when he found tree trouble. Also among the 11 entries, Sean Perry highlighted his round with an eagle-2 at the 10th hole, when he hit a 140-yard 8-iron shot that rolled into the cup. The oral part of the evaluation process will take place today.
Wes Lovell 40-3676; Michael Schimpf 39-3877; George Blyth IV, 41-39-80; Jon Steckler 40-4181; Jon Wood 41-4182; Andy Dhillon 41-4182; Sean Howard 42-4284; Michael Hackerman 46-4086; Jonathan Park 44-4286; Jennifer Just 49-4998; Sean Perry 54-47101.