Cindy Davis of Crofton withstood a back-nine challenge from defending champion Karen Jones of Argyle and scored a 2-and-1 victory for the championship of the 62nd Maryland State Golf Association women's amateur yesterday at Bretton Woods.

"It's hard to play against friends, but I really believe in playing the golf course," said Davis, 20, a resident of Bowie who plays No. 1 on the Furman women's team. "I don't really think of it as playing the person. That's when you make mistakes."

Davis made few mistakes in shooting one under par yesterday. She won the qualifying medal Tuesday with two-under-par 70, and now owns both the Middle Atlantic and Maryland State women's titles.

She knocked in a curling 25-foot putt for birdie 2 on the ninth hole for a 2-up lead, but Jones, the No. 3 player for Oklahoma State, sank a 50-foot chip shot for birdie at the 11th hole to pull within one.

Jones, who came from behind to win her semifinal match against Kim Williams, then evened the match with birdie at the par-4 13th when Davis hit her tee shot into rough, her second shot into sand, and took bogey.

Then came the first of what Davis said were the two key shots of the match. She hit a nine iron to within five feet of the cup on the par-3 14th and sank the birdie putt to regain a 1-up lead.

Davis hit another high-quality shot after dumping her tee shot into a green-side bunker, 50 feet from the hole at the par-3 16th. She opened the face of her sand wedge and hit the ball from a downhill lie to within one foot of the hole, earned a tying par, and remained 1 up.

The match came to a close at the par-4 17th hole, Davis two-putting from 16 feet for a par while Jones rimmed a par putt from 10 feet after going over the green in two.