Buddy Peoples sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to give him and partner Butch Mielke a 1-up victory over Regan O'Rourke and Wade Heintzelman for the championship of the Belle Haven Four Ball yesterday.
It was the first repeat victory since Ralph Bogart and Bobby Brownell won this tournament for the third straight time 30 years ago.
Peoples and Mielke birdied the first four holes and were four holes up with seven remaining, but the medalists from American University came back with victories on holes 12 (O'Rourke, 12-foot birdie putt), 13 (Heintzelman, regulation par) and 14 (Heintzelman, 15-foot birdie putt) to pull within one hole.
It remained that way until the dramatic par-4 final hole, where it looked as if O'Rourke, after a perfect drive, might send the match into extra holes. Both Mielke and Peoples, of Greencastle Country Club, drove right, behind a grove of trees. Mielke played a safe second shot but still was 100 yards short of the green.
Peoples had to hit his 123-yard approach shot low to avoid tree branches and he "hooded an eight iron" and hit just the shot he wanted, 20 feet from the hole.
O'Rourke hit his wedge approach seven feet from the cup, but former pro Peoples, who putted extremely well in shooting a front-nine 33 on his own ball, made the putt.
"We thought it was going to be a tough match," said Peoples. "But when we got 4 up, we felt very confident. But all of a sudden the momentum swung their way."
In their morning semifinals, Peoples-Mielke overwhelmed brothers Charles and Steven Hall of Tantallon, 5 and 4, while O'Rourke-Heintzelman eliminated Glen Barrett of Penderbrook and Gary Reedy of Reston South, 3 and 2.
In the first flight, Bill Ridgeway and Ed Volm of Robin Dale beat Barry McCarty and Chip Beveridge of Belle Haven on the 20th hole. In the second flight, unaffiliated players Larry Spielberg and Bruce Ericson defeated Chip Heyl of Reston South and Tom White of Roswell, Ga., 3 and 2. Neff McClary of Fairfax and Wilson Dickerson of Alta Vista, Va., won the third flight, besting Galen Lee of East Potomac and James Rice of Oxon Run, 1 up.