Rick Hartman of Sarasota, Fla., parred the fourth hole of a playoff against Todd Smith of Orlando, Fla., to win the Middle Atlantic Open golf tournament today at Evergreen Country Club.
Hartman, who led four players by one shot going into the final round, lost the lead to Smith, but birdied the 18th hole to force the playoff. Hartman shot 71 and Smith 70 and both finished with 54-hole totals of 206.
George McDonald of Virginia Beach finished with 69--208 and was low amateur. Chick Evans (69) of Kingston, N.Y., and Richard Clark (73) of Asheville, N.C., were next at 209. Mark Spolarich of Bowie and Rick Hughes of Indian Spring were the closest Washington-area pursuers. They finished tied with Brian Clear of Tampa at 210. Hughes had 72, Spolarich 74 and Clear 71. Earl Robinson of Arlington was low senior with 77--213.
After Hartman and Smith parred the first three playoff holes, they came to the uphill par-4, 430-yard fourth hole. Both drove in the fairway, but Smith pulled his second shot left of the green. Hartman's second shot was short of the green. Smith, 100 feet from the hole with a bunker in between, chipped too firmly, 40 feet past the hole. Hartman chipped to four feet. Smith hit his first putt six feet short of the hole. He missed and took double bogey and Hartman won the $3,075 first prize by knocking in his par putt. Smith won $2,050.
Hartman, 24, who won a new automobile for being low pro in the Casco Bay Open in Maine last week, appeared in control after a solid three-under-par 33 on the front nine, which gave him a two-stroke lead after nine holes over Smith and Clark.
But Hartman ran afoul of the long par-4 12th hole, took double bogey, and allowed Smith to take a one-shot lead.
"Even with a double bogey, I still thought I was in there," said Hartman. "I never lost hope."