Nathaniel Crosby, who took a four-stroke lead into today's play, put drama into the final round of the 76th Middle Atlantic Golf Association Amateur championship by shooting 80 at Woodholme Country Club, but his par on the last hole gave him a one-stroke victory over Larry Zee.
Zee, who lives in Grand Island, N.Y., was playing several groups ahead of Crosby, the 1981 U.S. Amateur champion, and had finished play at 74 -- 300 when Crosby, after failing to save par from a bunker at No. 17, teed up at the 460-yard, par-5 finishing hole. Ninety yards short of the green in two shots, Crosby hit a wedge within 15 feet and two-putted for rounds of 72-70-77-80 -- 299.
Crosby, 20, a junior at the University of Miami, started the day four strokes ahead of Marty West of Columbia Country Club. But West fell out of the running by taking a quadruple bogey 9 on the par-5 second hole, hitting two wedge shots into water guarding the green.
Mike Ball of Manor Country Club, who began eight shots behind the leader, and Zee, who started seven back, were tied with Crosby on the back nine today. Crosby made a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th and Zee missed a three-foot par putt at the same hole for a bogey and never regained that stroke.
Ball was two under through 13 holes today, but took bogey at the par-4 15th hole, and a double bogey at the par-3 17th, and finished in a third-place tie with Henri deLozier of Columbia Country Club, who birdied the final hole for 77 -- 301. Ball had 74 -- 301. West was fifth, 79 -- 302.
Crosby let the field back into contention when he hooked a shot out of bounds at the par-4 sixth hole and took a triple bogey. That group included Zee, Ball, West and deLozier.
"Maybe I was too casual out there today," Crosby said. "But that out-of-bounds shot really shook me up. Today I felt awkward over the ball. But it's a nice way to end the season. I'll be back next year. I don't win enough tournaments not to defend them when I do win."