Sally Voss survived the one element she had not faced all week - pressure - and squeezed out a tense, 1-up victory over valiant Diane Rankin of Montgomery Village for the championship of the Women's District Golf Association yesterday at Congressional.
"This is as good as watching Nancy Lopez play," said a member of the sizable gallery as four birdies fell during a three-hole stretch on the back nine.
Voss, 20, an All-America from Stanford, had had a cakewalk, winning the qualifying medeal by seven strokes, and three succeeding matches by scores of 4 and 3, 7 and 6, and 6 and 5.
This was no laugher, Rankin evened the match on the long par-five ninth by sinking a 10-foot birdie putt.
"She's cool, I noticed that," said Voss's caddy, Banks Wheeler, of Rankin.
After the 10th and 11th holes were halved, the fun began.
Voss, playing her home Congressional course, pulled her tee shot off the back edge of the par-three 12th, 70 feet from the pin. She chipped the slippery downhiller into the cup for birdie and a 1-up lead.
The unflappable Rankin, hit a seven-wood approach shot three feet from the pin on the following par-four and evened the match with her birdie putt.
On the par-five 14th, both got their pitch shots up and down and the hole was halved in birdie.
The following hole, a 435-yard par five, was the turning point. Voss was in a greenside trap in two after a 250-yard tee shot and a long fairway wood. Rankin's long third shot found the bunker to the rear of the green. Both took three to get into the hole from the sand, Voss for winning par and Rankin for bogey.
They halved the 16 and 17th holes in par and Voss went to the 18th tee 1 up.
Voss hit her tee shot onto the green, 25 feet from the cup, and Rankin hit hers 15 feet from the hole.
Voss hit what she called a "bummer" approach putt, and left herself a five-foot putt for par. Rankin made a bold birdie bid that would have sent the match into extra holes, but the ball slid by the low side.
Voss hit her winning putt into the back of the hole and let out a yelp of joy.
"I can't believe it," Voss said as she walked off the final green.
"I thought I could do it," said Rankin.
Nancy Hollenbeck of Army Navy beat Cloey Hardesty of Argyle, 4 and 3, for the first flight title.
Other flight winners: 2, Tina Marlowe, Woodmont; 3, Sharon Briggs, Montgomery Village; 4, Ruby Woodring, Army Navy.