Rolling Road pro John McNaney came to the final hole of the 36-hole U.S. Open sectional qualifying at Bethesda Country Club needing a birdie to get into a playoff for one of the 14 allotted spots.
He did not make the playoff field.
Instead, he holed out his two-iron shot to culminate a day's work of 69-73--142 and win a trip to Pebble Beach for the USGA's most prestigious golf tournament June 17-20.
Former U.S. Amateur champion Hal Sutton used his metal three-wood for control on most of Bethesda's holes and shot rounds of 65 and 69 for six-under-par 134 to lead the qualifiers before a crowd of more than 1,000.
Sutton, 24, won the 1980 U.S. Amateur and now plays on the PGA Tour.
Bob Gilder, another PGA Tour player, bogeyed his final hole of the day, the difficult par-3 ninth, and finished second, 66-69--135. Amateur Gary Marlowe of Woodmont shot 69-70--139 and qualified for his first Open.
Washington pro Lee Elder (71-72) lost out in a five-way playoff for players at 143 when Morris Hatalsky sank a 20-foot birdie put on the first hole. Others in the playoff were Dave Edwards, Tim Collins and Mike Sullivan.
"Everybody dreams about making the U.S. Open," said Marlowe, 23, who missed the cut at this weekend's Kemper Open with twin 77s, but said he played well there nevertheless. "It may be expensive to go to Pebble Beach, but I'll beg, borrow and steal to get there."
Sutton, from Shreveport, La., made $3,266 when he tied for 25th at the Kemper. He said the metal wood he used all but six times off the par-4 and par-5 tees yesterday was a key in his rounds.
"I kept the ball in play all day long," Sutton said. "I didn't make very many mistakes."
If Sutton made any mistakes during his bogeyless morning round of 65, they were hard to detect. He started on the back nine and birdied the 15th hole by sinking a 15-foot putt. He birdied 17 and 18 with eight-foot puts.
On the front nine, he sank a six-footer for a birdie at the fourth hole, and culminated the magnificent round by lacing a two-iron onto the green at the ninth hole and sinking a 25-foot birdie put.
Sutton made his second bogey of the day on his 36th and final hole when he rammed his 50-foot approach putt 10 feet past the hole and missed coming back.
Joining Marlowe at 139 were Mike Reid (71-68) and Dave Stockton (71-68). Joe Inman was alone at 140 with a pair of 70s. Greg Powers (72-69), Dan Pohl (72-69) and Rod Black (71-70) tied for seventh at 141.
Bill Bergin (68-74), Tom Jenkins (72-70), Terry Deal (72-70) and McNaney were next at 142.