Bowie coach Bob Burkhart kept tabs on his team's performance in yesterday's Metropolitan high school golf team championship by roving the course in a golf cart. But he kept a safe distance from the players.
"Once they tee up, there is nothing I can do for them," Burkhart said. "So I just sit back and watch them play."
The Bulldogs showed they could play as they won their second straight Metropolitan title with a 5 1/2-3 1/2 victory over St. John's at Enterprise Golf Course in Mitchellville.
It was the 25th consecutive wit for Bowie, 12-0 this season, and gave it the honor of being the only Prince George's County school to win back to-back titles.
"Bowie was every bit as tough as I thought they would be," said St. John's coach the Rev. Joseph Klcinstuber, whose team has not faced the Bulldogs since early last season. "But a couple of our guys did not play well and that certainly made a big difference."
Clay Fitzgerald, the Cadets' No. 1 man and 1976 junior golfer of the year did play well, however, as he beat Joe Faver, five strokes ahead with four holes to play. Favor had defeated top Friendly player Chuck Winegardner, in the Bulldogs' 9-0 win in the Prince George's championship Monday.
Despite the fact he had never played the course, Fitzgerald had a solid round, which included a fine 18-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole. None of St. John's players had previously played a full round at Enterprise.
St. John's No. 2 man, freshman Jim Lessel, had a chance to gain ground when opponent Greg McCullough, who made the turn with an even-par 36 and a four-stroke lead, began to have problems with his driver. McCullough took a triple bogey eight on 10 salvaged par with a 15-foot putt on the 11th and bogeyed 12 and 13. But Lessel was also having driver problems and McCullough easily took the match, four and three.
In the third threesome, Bowie's Kris Lovell, one of the area's better players but who has been hampered by a wrist injury, casily beat Dick Holland, 5 and 3, Lovell has played most of the season in the first position but Burkhart believes that in championship play the Bowie captain is more valuable lower in the order.
While St. John's Mike Lessel downed Dirk Schulze, two up in the No. 4 match, the Bulldogs clinched the championship with a sweep in the third foursome. Mike McDonald trounced Keith Carpenter, 6 and 5, in the fifth position and George Murphy beat Greg Howard, 3 and 2, in the final match.
The teams played the best-ball points to a draw. The first foursome halved the point while St. John's took the second point, 1-up and Bowie the third, 7 and 6.