The Blizzard of '79 has melted into the fairways, signaling the start of another frenetic Washington golf season. But last year's feats are slow to melt in menory.
On the local golf scene, it was a year of youth. Louisiana State student Wayne DeFrancesco, with braces on his teeth, doggedly fought off a Florida collegian from Vienna, Rob Black, to win the District Amateur. Black came back to win the Virginia Open.
Two more college players, Steve Fellinger and Mike Richter from Mary land, teamed to win the Belle Haven Four Ball over teen-agers Jack Skilling and Matt Sughrue.
Gary Marlowe, who lives to play on the PGA tour, became at 19 the youngest ever to win the Maryland Open. High schooler Tony DeLuca won the Northern Virginia Amateur. Young, long-hitting Larry Rentz won the Worsham.
But, just as so often happens on the PGA Tour, new winners at the beginning of the season gave way to familiar names in the dog days. The experience of Washington's premier amateur, Marty Wst, came to the forefront.
West, of Columbia Country Club, who two weeks ago was again voted onto the U.S. Walker Cup team, thumped Skilling to win his third Maryland Amateur, and then outclassed the field in stroke play to win his second Middle Atlantic Amateur in the autumn.
Sally Voss of Congressional proved to be the most from coast to coast. Voss, who aspired to make the U.S. Curtis Cup team, won the San Francisco women's championship while enrolled in medical school at Stanford, then came home to win the Women's District championship and the Maryland Women's Amateur.
In area professional competition, former Columbia assistant Mark Alwin won Middle Atlantic PGA player of the year honors and the section championship. Slender Alwin beat muscular Jim Thorpe by one stroke in a memorable Middle Atlantic Open final.
Thorpe later re-earned his card and joined another Washington shotmaker, Lee Elder, on the PGA Tour. Both already have collected hefty paychecks.