Where are mid-amateurs?

GOLF

August 27, 1993|By GEORGE TAYLOR

Are area golf clubs ready for mid-amateur competition?

You wouldn't think so, judging by the response of Carroll County golfers to the Maryland State Mid-Amateur at Baltimore Country Club this week.

Of 137 who teed off, plus another 40 who could not be fitted into the field, only five Carroll County golfers carried their bags to the tournament.

But if Carroll County has not become "mid-amateurized," the rest of the nation has.

It was not many years ago that the United States Golf Association placed mid-amateur events on its schedule for the first time. After a low-key start, interest has exploded.

National and sectional championships now include juniors (age 17 and under), seniors (age 50 for pros and 55 for amateurs) and mid-amateurs (age limits vary with different associations.)

For example, the USGA defines age 25 as mid-amateur. The Maryland association dictates that mid-amateur must be age 35 or over.

The 1993 Mid-Amateur was conducted over a two-day 36-hole test.

Steve Thomas of Crofton won the title with scores of 70-73 for a 143 total. Buddy Peoples, defending champion, of Crofton, was runner-up.

The Carroll County golfers who competed were Mike Myers and Gerry Eckenrode, both of Wakefield Valley, and Bob Rosenberg and Steve Yount of Piney Branch. Howard Swartz of Piney Branch entered but withdrew.

In first-round play of the tourney, Eckenrode had 79, Rosenberg, 80 and Yount, 86.

Concerning popularity of mid-amateur competition, Bill Horney, head professional at Wakefield Valley, said:

"It is doubtful that area clubs will be able to add mid-amateur events to their already crowded schedules. In our case at Wakefield, we are so heavily booked that we could not fit in another championship.

"Regardless of the fact that these tourneys are growing in popularity in other parts of the country, we're just not quite ready.

"There are, of course, thousands of golfers all over the nation who continually are seeking additional competition.

"Perhaps, before too long, mid-amateur championships may be on everyone's schedule."

Club notes

WAKEFIELD VALLEY -- In the men's league two-man teacompetition, Gerry Eckenrode and Jeff Zumbrum took low-gross honors with 38. Net winners with 28 were Mike Lynch and Gary Meyers. Other net scores included Bob Blubaugh and Rob Van Etten, 30; Bob Barnhart and Ellis Lawson, 30; Clayton Jacobson and Gary Witt, 31.

PINEY BRANCH -- Chuck Monninger, with a score of 163 over 36 holes, was the winner of the senior championship. Runner-up was George Knouse with 164. Net winners were Bud Samis, 144; Bob Moser, 141, and Finbar Murphy, 141. Dave Heiberg, last year's winner, was unable to compete.

BEAR CREEK -- Chris Conklin won the stroke play championship for the third straight year despite stumbling with an 82 in the first round. He came back with a 72 in the final 18 for a total of 154. In three-man team play, Brian Blonkoski, Harry Cunningham and Jim Hanley were winners at 21 under par. Latest Bear Creek member to join the hole-in-one club is Jan Strevig. She used a seven iron on the 100-yard third hole for the perfect shot.

OAKMONT GREEN -- Dick Lindsay of Bachman Valley Road in Westminster shot a hole-in-one on the 142-yard second hole using a five iron.

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