Harris wins Mid-Amateur qualifying First-round leader fires 72 at Caves for medal

September 18, 1995|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

John Harris, focused on a tournament he has been pointing for over the past year, got the first order of business out of the way with comparative ease.

Harris, the first-round leader by two after a 5-under-par 67 at Woodholme Country Club, shot a 1-over 72 at Caves Valley Golf Club yesterday, and won the qualifying medal by four strokes in the 15th U.S. Mid-Amateur championship.

"The physical part is easy; you just go with what got you here. It's all a mental game now," Harris said, referring to the match-play segment that gets under way this morning.

First, at 7:45, there will have to be a playoff, with 20 players going for eight places. The opening round (32 matches) in the 64-man draw will start at 9 o'clock, with the pairings involving the eight playoff survivors going at the end of the round.

Area players still in the hunt are Pat Tallent, 144; Doug Ballenger, the Caves Valley club champion from Evans, Ga., who used a pair of birdie-2's on the back nine to highlight a 73 at Caves Valley for 148; Marty West III, 148; and Tom Winegardner, 149.

There are four others in the playoff -- Ben Brundred III, Mike Cox, Scott Inman and Barry McCarty. Inman, playing at Caves, saw an eight-foot par putt for 149 roll around the left edge of the cup and stay out on the upper lip.

Notable misses included a pair at 152, two-time champion Jim Stuart; and Ed Gibstein, a semifinalist and quarterfinalist the past two years and holder of the Caves Valley competitive course record last week, 66, plus last year's losing finalist, Tom Brennan, 153.

All but one of the first five players behind Harris played at Woodholme. Donald Bliss, from Chesterfield, Mo., shot 1-under-par 71 at Woodholme to finish at 143, followed by four at 144.

In addition to Tallent, Macon Moye, from Charlotte, N.C., sizzled at Woodholme, matching Harris' 67 of Saturday with 34-33, after opening with 41-3677 at Caves Valley. The other one was David Jennings, Duncan, Okla.

At Caves, James Camaione, from Upland, Calif., had par-71. The low scores at the Park Heights Avenue course were 69's by Bill Brafford (148) and Bill Hoffer (152), and a 70 by Kye Goalby (154), son of Masters champion Bob Goalby.

"The Saturday start was the key for me, because it allowed me to relax in the second round," said Harris, 43, fighting a cold he got during last week's Walker Cup matches.

"It was really enjoyable and not a lot of pressure." The tour included a three-foot birdie putt at the third hole and a 15-footer at the eighth to go with three bogeys.

"There wasn't much strategy, because I'm still learning the golf course. There is a lot of local knowledge, and I did some studying out there."

Bliss, 44, national sales director for a plastics firm, has had seven holes-in-one, two of them in the first qualifying round of the 1987 Mid-Am for a USGA record. He is a two-time past president of the Missouri Golf Association.

Moye's round at Woodholme included a run of four successive birdies (Nos. 8-11). Tallent was 3-over par after four holes, then played even the rest of the way for his 75.

Yesterday's results

John Harris, Edina, Minn. 67-72139. Donald Bliss, Chesterfield, Mo. 72-71143. Macon Moye, Charlotte, N.C. 77-67144. James Camaione, Upland, Calif. 73-71144. David Jennings, Duncan, Okla. 73-71144. Patrick Tallent, Vienna, Va. 69-75144. Scot Regner, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. 74-71145. Rick Dewitt, Arvada, Colo. 76-69145. Frank Vana, Jr., Worcester, Mass. 74-71145. John Finnin, Crete, Ill. 76-69145. Scott Turney, Aliso Viejo, Calif. 72-73145. Michael Goodes, Reidsville, N.C. 71-74145. Duke Delcher, Linwood, N.J. 71-74145. Jeffrey Thomas, South Plainfield, N.J. 74-71145. Stewart Alexander, Gainesville, Fla. 72-73145.

Gary Jacobson, Plymouth, Minn. 69-77146. Steve Harwell, Mooresville, N.C. 75-71146. Tom McKnight, Galax, Va. 75-71146. Richard Keene, Chattanooga, Tenn. 75-71146. Mitch Voges, Simi Valley, Calif. 70-76146.

Alan Foster, Manlius, N.Y. 71-76147. Thomas Strong, Greendale, Wis. 72-75147. Dean Overturf, Dallas, Texas 73-74147. Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C. 74-73147. Bo Baumeister, Fort Smith, Ark. 74-73147. John Grace, Fort Worth, Texas 74-73147. Gayle Sanchez, Baton Rouge, La. 72-75147. Warren Sye, Brampton, Ontario, Canada 73-74147. Danny Yates, Atlanta, Ga. 76-71147. Randy Haag, Danville, Calif. 73-74147. Bob Kearney, Houston, Texas 76-71147. Scott Ferrell, Savannah, Ga. 74-73147.

Scott Griffith, Dallas, Texas 75-73148. Ron Schroeder, Pasadena, Texas 71-77148. Damien Jamila, Waimanalo, Hawaii 73-75148. Jerry Courville, Jr., Norwalk, Conn. 75-73148. Randy Nichols, Connersville, Idaho 75-73148. Gregory Jones, Mobile, Ala. 74-74148. Doug Ballenger, Evans, Ga. 75-73148. Bill Brafford, Broken Arrow, Okla. 79-69148. George Marucci, Jr., Berwyn, Pa. 76-72148. Robert Adams, Atlanta, Ga. 76-72148. Marty West III, Rockville, Md. 72-76148.

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