Va. pro Lehnhard learns economics of Senior tour

August 08, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

Last fall, Bruce Lehnhard, head professional at Lake of the Woods Golf Club in Locust Grove, Va., qualified for his second straight PGA Championship with a top-40 finish in the National Club Pro championship. But unlike last year, when he missed the cut at Bellerive CC in St. Louis, he won't be in the field at The Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, this week.

Instead, Lehnhard, 50, will be teeing off at the Franklin Quest championship in Park City, Utah, a Senior PGA Tour event.

"When I qualified for the Senior Tour [after the Club Pro event], I automatically lost that exemption," Lehnhard said last week from Concord, Mass., where he is competing in the Digital Seniors Classic. "It was for club pros, and I was then a tour professional."

In his first year on the circuit, the longest stretch Lehnhard has played is six weeks. "Now, I'm out here for the duration. The past several weeks, I was off a week, out here a week, off a week, but now I expect to play [the remaining] 16 in a row."

The reason for this concentrated dose is simple economics. The top 31 players on the money list earn full exemptions for next year. After his tie for second at the Northville Classic in Jericho, N.Y., last week, Lehnhard was at $87,000, and, as he said, "I figure it will take around $300,000, so I have a ways to go."

A club pro in the Middle Atlantic PGA Section since 1969, and a two-time Section Player of the Year, Lehnhard has had some good rounds lately, including two 66s, and was in the hunt last week until Raymond Floyd birdied two of the last three holes to win.

"I want to play every round on an even keel and not force anything," he said. "If I can keep my 'off' rounds to no worse than par, I'll be decent."

Gold-medal shows

* Joel Kaye of Pikesville was a member of the championship golf team at the recent Maccabean Games on a course near Caesarea, Israel. With four scores (from the six-man team) to count each of four days, the United States placed first, coming from 16 shots back after the first day to defeat South Africa by three strokes. In individual play, Kaye finished in the top 10.

* Jackie Rites (seven birdies, all but one from inside of 10 feet) and Charlie Harris (three birdies) combined for a 9-under-par 63, and won the Briarwood (Pa.) GC Invitation tournament in a playoff when Rites came through with his eighth birdie of the day on the second extra hole.

Tournament time

* Regional qualifying for the annual Rums of Puerto Rico tournament will be tomorrow at Hunt Valley Golf Club.

* There are 84 entrants for four places at Wakefield Valley GC, and 98 players for five spots at Bretton Woods Recreation Center in sectional qualifying for the U.S. Amateur championship tomorrow.

* There are 66 entries for the stroke-play championship of the Women's Golf Association Tuesday at Hunt Valley GC, and Wednesday at Baltimore CC.

* A field of 36 pro-am teams will participate in the first Mountain Club Invitation tournament, Tuesday and Wednesday, in Rawlings.

* There are 100 teams entered in the 55th Father-Son championship of the Maryland State Golf Association Friday at Columbia CC.

This week's schedule

Tomorrow -- Sectional qualifying for the U.S. Amateur championship, Wakefield Valley GC and Bretton Woods Recreation Center, 7 a.m.; Rums of Puerto Rico qualifying, Hunt Valley GC, 8 a.m. Tuesday -- Women's Golf Association stroke-play championship, Hunt Valley GC, 8:30 a.m. Wednesday -- Women's Golf Association stroke-play championship, Baltimore CC, 8:30 a.m. Thursday -- Nordlinger Cup (Middle Atlantic PGA Junior championships), Mount Vernon CC, 8 a.m. Friday -- Maryland State Father-Son, Baltimore CC, 8 a.m.; Middle Atlantic PGA pro-am, Caroline CC, Denton, 8 a.m.; Baltimore Municipal Junior Inter-Club tournament, Pine Ridge GC, 10 a.m.

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