Buddy Marucci, playing what he called "the finest golf of my career," teamed with Henri de Lozier to retain the Fred McLeod Eastern Four-Ball Championship at Columbia Country Club yesterday with a closing 68 for a 199 total over 54 holes.
Two shots back was the University of Maryland team of Mike Richter and Eric Smith, who also came in with 68 but totaled 201.
It was like a greyhound chasing the mechanical rabbit for the Richter-Smith team, just unable to catch Marucci and de Lozier, who blended well. This was their third Eastern championship.
Marucci, former University of Maryland golf captain (graduated 1974), is a stockbroker in Philadelphia. De Lozier has a law practice in Chevy Chase.
"Buddy really carried me," said the modest de Lozier, a veteran of two Masters tournaments and a semifinalist in the U.S. Amateur five years ago. "He hit some incredible shots to keep us in the running."
The Marucci-de Lozier total was 11 under par and one stroke off the tournament record of 198, which the duo equaled in its victory last year.
The pair started the final 18 badly with bogey on the first hole when both missed the green. They made pars on the next seven holes and bogeyed the ninth as both missed the green again and de Lozier failed to sink a six-foot putt.
Then the champions settled down. De Lozier holed out from the trap on the 11th for birdie 3. Marucci birdied the 12th from 15 feet and the 14th from four feet. He chipped in from about 30 feet on the 15th for the pair's final birdie of the day. Out in 37, Marucci and de Lozier were home in 31.