Retired top LPGA caddy chips in with photo book

May 22, 1994|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Sun Staff Writer

Pat Meyers and Dee Darden have warm spots in their hearts for Baltimore.

Meyers, currently the head professional at Robin Dale Country Club in Brandywine, won her first LPGA tournament -- the Greater Baltimore Classic -- at Pine Ridge GC in 1979. It was the first win for caddy Darden, and came in the first week the two were together.

"We had a great time," Meyers said. "He was dependable, didn't try to tell me what to do, and was supportive."

While that was Meyers' only LPGA victory -- she became a club professional in 1987 -- Darden went on to 25 more wins with Beth Daniel, Nancy Lopez, and Val Skinner, before an assortment of ailments forced him to the sidelines in 1989.

It didn't keep him off the golf course, though, as he recently finished work on a book of more than 400 richly colored pictures of LPGA life, from candid moments of off-course clowning around to the grim intensity on faces of players in the heat of competition.

These events and others were recalled last week, as Darden toted his "other" bag -- the one with his camera equipment in it -- at the Lady Keystone Open, which concludes today in Hershey, Pa.

Darden, 64, a retired (June 1976) lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, says that he has carried a camera with him since his flying days, including a stint in photo reconnaissance aircraft. He didn't stop when he moved along to caddying, first (briefly) on the PGA Tour, then landing with the LPGA during a stop in Springfield, Ill., in September 1976.

He was around for a year, left, and bounced back to the LPGA in 1979, first with Debbie Meisterlin, and then Meyers. "The day I joined the tour, I instantly fell in love with 90 women -- all there were at the time -- and I've never wanted to leave," Darden says.

It's all there in the 200 pages of "Inside the Ropes," a book put together by Darden and longtime friend Bill Spencer, art director for Golf World magazine, who handled the layout. The book is expected to be available in bookstores by August. Orders prior to that may be made by telephone (800) 507-2665.

Tournament time

Mike Evans-Larry Ringer of CC Woodmore won the annual Superintendent-pro tournament with a 69 at Old South CC. Low net went to Fred Heinlen-Bob Baldassari of River Run CC, 65.

Jerry Watts-Nick Aquilino of the Naval Academy won the annual Senior Fourball conducted by the Middle Atlantic Golf Association with a 3-under-par 69 at Kenwood G&CC, a stroke better than David Tinkham-Max Micklitsch of Congressional CC. Charlie Harris-Jackie Rites (35-36) won over Jerry Phipps-Stan Bailey (35-36) in an all-CC Maryland match of cards for third place.

Miscellaneous

It was not exactly a typical start for the Wednesday Night League at Pleasant Valley CC in Stewartstown, Pa. With four-man teams split into two-two matches, the pairing of John Startzel-Joe Operg started birdie-birdie and were all enthusiastic about it, until their teammates in the group behind informed them they had gone eagle-eagle.

Jay Vaught, 74, hit a driver-wedge at the 280-yard first hole, and had a hole-in-one at the 158-yard second, hitting a 6-iron shot. Partner Jim Rosenberger figured he was along for the ride about that point. And, yes, they won the match.

This week's schedule: Tomorrow -- Maryland State Open/Amateur qualifying, CC Woodmore, 7 a.m.; U.S. Open local qualifying, Montgomery CC, 8 a.m. Tuesday -- Women's Golf Association, Bonnie View CC and Green Spring VHC, 9 a.m. Wednesday -- Kemper Open MAPGA "Member" qualifying, CC Woodmore, 8 a.m. Thursday -- Kemper Open "Open" qualifying, Glenn Dale GC, 8 a.m. Friday -- MAPGA pro-am, Cumberland CC, 8 a.m.; Free State Seniors "Super Seniors" tournament, Walden CC, 8 a.m. Saturday -- Elkridge-Green Spring member-guest, Elkridge Club, 7:30 a.m. Sunday -- Elkridge-Green Spring member-guest, Green Spring VHC, 7:30 a.m.

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