For Juniors, tournaments abound, but scheduling is nightmare

August 22, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

The number of tournaments available to Junior golfers has mushroomed so much in the past few years, it practically takes a computer to work airline schedules, road maps and day-by-day calendars into a teen-ager's itinerary.

Just ask the parents.

For boys and girls -- no matter what the age, the skill level, or the hometown -- there is a tournament available. And most of the time, each week has a wide assortment from which to choose.

The professional tours pale next to some of these logistical logjams. Junior players could set up a summer-long tour that would have them playing competitively practically every weekday.

That's how it was for several of the Baltimore area's top age-group players the past couple of weeks.

Seven of them participated in the Scott Robertson tournament in Roanoke, Va., a 54-hole tournament that ran on a Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday. But getting to that southwestern Virginia city and home again was easy compared to the three-car caravan that made a night run over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Ashland, Ky.

An overnight trip was necessitated by a Friday qualifying round for an American Junior Golf Association tournament, the Bluegrass Invitational, due the following week at Bellefonte Country Club.

The group included Tim Walko, of Lutherville, and the brother-sister pairing of Joey and Jenny Chuasiriporn, of Timonium.

For the qualifying round, Jenny, the girls division winner at the Scott Robertson, had a 7 a.m. tee time; Walko was a bit later, and all they did was earn medalist honors in their respective divisions. Jenny, 16, led the girls with a 74, and, with 84 boys

playing for eight places, Walko, 18, tied for low at 71, then won the medal with a birdie on the second extra hole. Joey was exempt from the qualifying round.

In the championship, which ended Thursday, Jenny Chuasiriporn shot 73-74-71218 to place second behind Wendi Patterson, of Atlanta, a four-time AJGA winner this year, who had 211. Among the boys, Walko tied for eighth on 70-77-72219, and Joey Chuasiriporn tied for 23rd, 75-74-77226. Additionally, Keith Unikel, of Potomac, won the 13-14 division with 73-72-72217.

By comparison, Wes Lovell, 15, of Cockeysville, had it reasonably easy. He only had the Raymond Floyd Classic at Turnberry Isle, Fla., where he shot 84-79-80243, and tied for 55th in the boys 15-18 division.

Lovell is a sophomore at Boys' Latin; Jenny Chuasiriporn is a junior at Notre Dame Prep, Joey Chuasiriporn and Tim Walko are seniors at Loyola.

Tournaments

* Defending champion Mike West, an assistant professional at Lansdowne (Va.) Resort, heads a field of 168 in the 65th Middle Atlantic PGA championship, which begins a three-day, 54-hole run tomorrow at Two Rivers CC in Williamsburg, Va. Only four players have won at least twice in a row -- Fred Funk with three (1987 to 1989), Dick Sleichter (1962, '63); Charlie Bassler twice (1952 and '53, 1959 and '60), and Lew Worsham (1946, '47).

* Four past champions, including defender Buddy Peoples, are among the 135 entries for the seventh annual Mid-Amateur championship of the Maryland State Golf Association over the East Course at Baltimore Country Club. Single rounds will be held tomorrow and Tuesday.

* Tinker Sanger of Hydes is the lone area entrant among 21 players seeking five available places in qualifying for the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur championship tomorrow at Wilmington CC.

* On-site qualifying in the U.S. Amateur championship begins Tuesday at Champions Golf Club in Houston. Brian Slevin of Arnold and Justin Klein of Phoenix are among the 312 scheduled starters.

Charity events

* The annual Ronald McDonald House pro-am will be held Aug. 30 at Towson Golf & CC.

* Qualifying for the Mark Calcavecchia Pro-Am to benefit Sudden Infant Death Syndrome will be held Aug. 30 at Hunt Valley GC. Informa

tion from Hunt Valley Golf Shop (410) 527-3304.

* Entries for the second annual tournament to benefit the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland close on Sept. 1. The program will be held Sept. 22 at Turf Valley CC. Information from Terri Charles or Ellen Smith (800) 492-2521.

This week's schedule

Tomorrow--Middle Atlantic PGA Championship, Two Rivers CC, Williamsburg, Va. (through Wednesday), 7 a.m.; Maryland State Mid-Amateur, Baltimore CC (through Tuesday), 7:30 a.m. Tuesday--Women's Golf Association, Green Spring and CC of Maryland, 9 a.m. Friday--Middle Atlantic PGA Pro-Am, University of Maryland GC, 8 a.m.; Baltimore Municipal Junior Inter-Club (final round), Mount Pleasant GC, 10 a.m.

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