Larry Ringer pitched into the cup for eagle 3 on the 15th hole and finished with par 70 to win the Maryland Open at Indian Spring yesterday.
Ringer matched par 210 for the 54 holes to win by two strokes and earn $1,750. When the Maryland Open was played here in 1974, the winning score was 10 stokes higher.
Amateur Larry Rentz of Crofton carried his own bag for yesterday's final 36 holes and finished second with 212, followed by George Graefe of Crofton, Maryland Open winner in 1976, with 70,68, 213.
Ringer's chief pursuers were more than half a mile away playing the front nine when he hit the shot that ended the suspense. His low-flying wedge approach to the 15th green, took a couple of hops, hit the flagstick and dropped into the hole. He bogeyed the 16th hole when he said he "relaxed" and then finished par-par for his second Maryland Open title. The 35-year-old pro at the Naval Academy is also reigning Middle Atlantic PGA champion.
"Just before I eagled that hole, I stood over the shot and I said, 'Larry, you've got to get this close.' I was tired and I sure didn't want to come out tomorrow and have a playoff."
Tuesday's scheduled second round was rained out and that forced tournament organizers to stage a 36-hole final yesterday because Indian Spring has an outing scheduled here today.
"I know it sounds corny, but I wanted to win this one for my parents (who were not here yesterday). The only time they have seem me play was in the Kemper Open. I played badly there and missed the cut by six strokes." Ringer saw his two-stroke first round lead shrink to one after a morning 71.
Rentz, a University of Florida student, added par 70 to an opening round 1 to threaten Ringer. Roger Simpkins shot 69 and Maryland Amateur champ Gary Marlowe shot 72 in the morning as both pulled within three of Ringer.
With nine holes remaining, Ringer led Rentz by one stroke and Simpkins by two but the challengers had yet to face the tougher front nine while Ringer eagerly awaited the two par 5s on the back line.
Ringer parred the 10th hole and pushed his long iron tee shoot far to the right of the green on the par-3, 11th hole. He hit a delicate chip shot that bounced down a slope and made a great par from three feet.
Ringer birdied the par-k 12th hole after exploding from a greenside sand trap, landing within four feet of the cup.
On the 13th hole Ringer hit what he later call one of his two "perfect" shots of the day (the eagle pitch was the other).
Ringer hit a flyer approach shot 30 yards over the 13th green. His ball had bounded so far beyond the green and down a slope that he could not see the flagstick when addressing his pitch shot. Nevertheless he hit within four inches of the cup for a tap in par.
Ringer bogeyed the par 4 following hole but then came the decisive eagle.