Neff McClary of Fairfax joked and putted his way to a final-round 70 for a 54-hole total of 218 and a one-shot victory over Rick Schuller (72--219) for his second Northern Virginia Amateur golf championship today at Evergreen Country Club.
While others around him self-destructed, steady McClary hung around the lead and moved into a tie with Schuller and Charlie Briggs of Washington by sinking one of many four-foot putts, this one for birdie at the par-5 15th hole.
McClary took the lead with a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole after an into-the-wind approach shot with a seven-iron.
Schuller, of Army Navy, bidding for a tying eagle on the final hole, hit a 70-foot shot from the sand and the ball rolled by the cup and stopped a foot away. He tapped in for birdie and second place, followed by John Haddock of Annandale, 72--220.
"I wanted to hang in there as long as I could. I made a lot of four-footers," said McClary, who won the tournament in 1976, and the Virginia Amateur in 1977.
University of Maryland player John Haddock birdied four front-nine holes for 34 to take the lead. Briggs pulled even with Haddock with a 20-foot birdie at the 13th hole.
But at the decisive 15th, Haddock took double bogey from a greenside trap, Briggs took bogey and McClary birdied from four feet to move into a tie for the lead with Schuller.
Shortly after McClary birdied the 17th hole, Schuller bogeyed it, and McClary went on to win.
Asked if he was nervous in the lead, McClary said, "I knew win or lose, I gotta go to work tomorrow."
Allan Barber of Newport News sank a two-foot birdie putt to win the 23rd annual Capital City Open, defeating Alfred Morton in a 20-hole playoff yesterday at Newbridge.
Barber and Morton both finished with a 142, one stroke ahead of the defending champion Fred Gibson.
In Leonardtown, Md., Leonard Ferris won the sixth annual Southern Maryland amateur invitational by six strokes over Rick Holland. Ferris shot a 75 yesterday for a 145 total. Holland had a 78.