Mark Alwin of Woodholme survived a day-long head-to-head shootout with Jim Thorpe of Falls Church, Va., for a one-stroke victory in the Middle Atlantic Open golf tournament yesterday at Hobbit's Glen. Both registered one-over-par 73s. Alwin finishing with a 54-hole total of 211, one stroke less than Thorpe.
Alwin parred the final hole and Thorpe took bogey after skulling his sand shot from the bunker guarding the green.
Thorpe had birdied the 17th hole to pull even.
Alwin three-putted the first green for a bogey, but Thorpe fell two back, taking four strokes from just off the green for a double-boey 6.
Thorpe came within one of expert scrambler Alwin with a birdie on the fourth. Thorpe pulled even with the former Columbia Country Club assistant with par on the short fifth.
Alwin responded with a birdie on the par-4 sixth to regain the lead and widened the margin to two, chipping in for birdie deuce on the eighth.
Thorpe, who played on the PGA tour in 1976, and now plays in various minitour events, scratched within one stroke with a birdie on the 11th, but Alwin rebounded with a birdie on the 12th.
Thorpe caught Alwin four times, but never took the lead.
Thorpe hit the par-5 17th with a gargantuan long-iron second shot and two-putted to square the match, heading into the 217-yard, par-3 finishing hole.
Thorpe's tee shot fell short into the green-guarding bunker. Alwin's tee shot hit the green and he won the title with par Thorpe hit his sand shot well beyond the pin and two putted for bogey.
"I never got into a position where I could relax," said the muscular Thorpe. "The first hole and the par-3s killed me today. Mark is a good, steady player," he added.
Pro Brian Staveley, of Eisenhower, who won this tournament as a amateur, was the only golfer to challenge Alwin and Thorpe. Staveley pulled within one stroke of Alwin with birdie on the 11th, but made 6 three straight times.
Jim Thorpe's brother Chuch, winner of the first Middle Atlantic Open, finished third at 72-214. Larry Rentz of Eisenhower was low amateur, 73-224.