Veterans Ringer, Oakley break par, grab Senior Open berths

Baltimorean Kalish wins playoff for first alternate

June 22, 1999|By SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MITCHELLVILLE -- Larry Ringer and David Oakley, both backed by U.S. Senior Open experience, earned the two available places in yesterday's sectional qualifying for the 20th annual championship.

Ringer, 54, head professional at the Country Club of Woodmore, toured his home course in 4-under-par 68, and Oakley, 54, from Orlando, Fla., shot 70. The two were the only ones among 60 starters to break par over the Prince George's County course. Sheldon Kalish, from Baltimore, won the playoff for first alternate, beating Dick Blackburn, of Alexandria, Va., with a par on the second extra hole. The two amateurs had tied with 72s.

The championship is scheduled for July 8-11 at the Des Moines Golf & Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Ringer, in his ninth season at Woodmore, reached his third Open in five years, while Oakley, originally from Vienna, Va., and now a player on the European Senior circuit, made it 5-for-5. Oakley's brother Peter, a longtime Delaware professional who turns 50 this week, had qualified last week at Reading, Pa.

On a cool overcast day with intermittent showers and wind, Ringer birdied two of the first three holes, then from No. 4 on was bothered by painful back spasms, which have been a recurring problem for 25 years.

He turned in 34, and came back with four birdies, two bogeys for 34-34 over the demanding 6,808-yard layout. He offset one bogey with a 50-foot birdie putt that took a triple break before falling into the cup on the 11th green.

"I missed one fairway and two greens, and played a very solid round," said Ringer, whose Senior Open memories include the first-round lead at Congressional CC in 1995. He is the current Middle Atlantic PGA Senior champion.

"The weather was intimidating because it made the course play longer and harder," Ringer said, "but despite two days of rain, our superintendent, Mike Evans, had it in great condition."

Oakley, who had made it here with a 68 a year ago, had one birdie on each side -- a chip-in at the seventh and a 15-foot putt at the 10th -- in posting 35-3570. "I missed three greens and had two good saves at the other two," he said.

He returned from his most recent European stay having finished in the top 10 (with one victory) in the last four of his five tour starts. "My last-round scoring average for those four was 68.5."

Qualifiers: Larry Ringer, Mitchellville, 34-3468; David Oakley, Orlando, Fla., 35-3570. Alternates: Sheldon Kalish, Baltimore, 35-3772; Dick Blackburn, Alexandria, Va., 35-3772; Gordon Chavis, Baltimore, 35-3974; a- Michael Sanger, Hydes, 35-4075.

Other scorers: Bob Bilbo, Olney, 38-3775; Nelson Bell, Millington, 37-3976; a-Marty West, Rockville, 39-3776; Chuck Thorpe, Brandon, Fla., 36-4076; a-Joe Wood, Laurel, 38-3977; Walt Martin, Oakton, Va., 37-4077; Coleman Plecker, Rockville, 41-3778; a-Richard Pickeral, Haymarket, Va., 38-4078; Brad Schiefelbein, Laurel, 40-3878.

Pub Date: 6/22/99

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