Jack Skilling of Chevy Chase, who got up and down with a wedge five times on the back nine yesterday, saved pars on the 15th and 16th holes to maintain his margin and defeat Billy Booe Jr., 1 up, in one of the finest finals in the 30 years of the Bubby Worsham Memorial golf tournament.
It was the 20-year-old Skilling's first victory in this annual event at Bethesda Country Club, even though he had won the men't title at his own club at age 14 and dominated area junior events.
"This is one of the sweetest victories I've ever had," said the Stanford University student, "because I've tried for this title for so many years."
Unlike in other junior tournaments, the age limit in the Worsham -- named for Arnold Palmer's college roommate at Wake Forest -- is 20. Booe, 18, vowed afterward: "I'll be back a couple of more years."
The son of Billy Booe, director of the Kemper Open, he made it close all the way with booming drives and miraculous iron shots on three occasions when he was deep in the woods and still put his second shot on to the green.
Skilling overcame erratic driving with his wedge play. He had a two-over-par 72 for his medal score, one stroke better than Booe.
Booe was 1 up after nine holes, thanks to a brilliant surge. Skilling had won the first two holes, then Booe made three birdies in a row to go one up. Skilling evened the match at the eighth with a birdie but lost that advantage by bogeying nine.
The 10th hole was halved, then Skilling won the next three holes with a birdie and two pars. Booe came back with a par to cut the margin to one. Skilling saved pars on the 15th and 16th with great wedge shots leaving him easy putts.
Booe had a chance to even the match at the 17th, but missed a short putt. Booe went into the woods on the 18th and scrambled for his par. But Skilling was down the middle, on in two and two-putted to win the match.