Buddy Peoples and Butch Mielke displayed their chipping and putting games and defeated 1980 champions Henri deLozier and Tony Ciconte of Columbia, 3 and 2, to win the Belle Haven Four Ball golf championship yesterday.
Peoples, 32, a printing salesman from Crofton, and Mielke, 31, who leases automobiles in Clinton and plays out of Wicomico Shores, were even par in winning two matches in yesterday's gusty winds.
Both have deft short games, but Mielke's swing is not pretty. However, he got long hits from a graphite driver that he originally bought for his father's birthday but liked so much he kept it for himself.
"They can laugh at my swing, but not at my putting strokes," said Mielke, who lost in the semifinals last year to eventual winners Randy Morris and Brian Willard.
Mielke's putting wand was at work early, when he sank a 10-foot birdie putt at the first hole for a 1-up lead.
Deep in a greenside bunker at the 223-yard, par-3 ninth hole, Mielke blasted out and sank another 10-footer for a par that allowed his team to maintain a 2-up lead at the turn.
If that wasn't the turning point, then the long par-4 on the previous hole was. DeLozier was not a factor because he hit his drive into a creek for the second time on the front nine. Peoples, Mielke and Ciconte all drove left into rough. Ciconte and Peoples hit their second shots well short of the green.
Mielke then hit a five-iron from the rough and the ball flew over high trees and onto the green, from where he two-putted for a winning par. Mielke sent his team 3-up by chipping onto the green and sinking a three-foot par putt at the 10th hole.
Peoples got in on the act by chipping into the hole from 30 feet for a birdie at the 11th hole for a four-hole lead.
Ciconte reduced the spread to three holes when he reached the par-5 12th in two shots and two-putted for a birdie.
The teams halved the next three holes, and the match ended at the 16th, where Peoples hit another of his soft chip shots close to the hole and made a two-foot par putt.
Both finalists won morning semifinal matches on the 18th hole when their opponents suffered putting woes.
Peoples-Mielke won when Peoples sank a four-foot par putt after Gill FitzHugh of Army Navy and Marty West of Columbia both three-putted.
DeLozier-Ciconte also were even with their foes, Ted Vallo and Bill Hess of Reston, heading to the 18th. DeLozier and Ciconte both made pars and won the match when Vallo three-putted from 50 feet.
Gary Marlowe of Woodmont and Mike Manders of Congressional culminated a four-day birdie barrage by beating Bob Casamento and Ron Minson of Montgomery Village, 3 and 2, to win the first flight. Perky Cullinane and Fred Von Bargen of Columbia won the second flight and Paul McArdle of Chevy Chase and Allan Brown of Bethesda won the third flight.