Early on, George Pilz thought it was his day.

Then, gnarly rough left uncut due to a spate of rain snagged him again and again, and, like any golfer, missing fairways cost him a chance of winning the Masters of blind golf.

Pilz finished sixth in the Corcoran Cup, an annual invitational for blind golfers held yesterday at Mount Kisco (N.Y.) Country Club for the 32nd year. Pilz, from King of Prussia, managed 32 points, using a version of the Stableford scoring system, 9 1/2 points behind winner David Meador, of Nashville, Tenn.

Standing on the fifth tee, Pilz had 14 points.

"I thought I was smokin', man!" Pilz said. "Then, the rough got me."

He stayed in Mount Kisco for today's charity event, the Guiding Eyes Golf Classic, to benefit the Guiding Eyes guide-dog school. His next big event: the U.S. Blind Golfers Association national championship in October in San Antonio.

Pilz, 68, is the reigning senior division champion. A high-school dropout blinded in a car accident at 21, Pilz made his life an inspiration. He went on to earn his high school diploma, his college degree and an MBA, ran two businesses and enjoyed a career repairing telephones. Now mostly retired, he can't wait for October:

"You know what's important to me!" he said. "The future!" *