Skeeter Heath, a PGA Tour player from Williamsburg, made three birdies on his final 18 holes, shooting 71 at Country Club of Fairfax for a 144 total to lead a 36-hole local U.S. Open qualifier yesterday.

Amateur David Newland of Annandale, a senior at Virginia Commonwealth, made three birdies in his morning round of 72 at Fairfax, shot 74 in the afternoon at nearby International, and finished second, 146.

Tony DeLuca of Vienna and Herb Rose of Arnold, Md., each shot 72 at International in the afternoon and tied for third, 147.

Ian Noel of Washington (74-74), amateur Robert Bain of Fairfax (72-76) and Jon Corliss of Virginia Beach (75-73) survived a four-man playoff among 148 shooters for the final three spots. Amateur John Haddock of Annandale was the playoff loser (74-74).

Heath, 30, birdied the first hole of his morning round at International, but did not get his second birdie until the ninth hole of his afternoon round. He added birdies on the 11th and 16th holes.

Heath, who has won $5,000 on the tour this season, said, "I've played terrible the last two or three months. Just pitiful. Three weeks ago I couldn't break 80."

So, Heath went back to Red Spiegle, 72, who taught him the game back in Hampton, Va.

"I started seeing everybody in the world about my swing, except the guy who taught me to play," said Heath, who made the cut in the two U.S. Opens he has played in. He led local qualifying two years ago at Army Navy.

Yesterday's qualifiers advance to the U.S. Open sectional June 3 at Bethesda Country Club, which will include many PGA Tour pros competing in the Kemper Open at Congressional later this month.

Several Washington-area players, including Fred Gibson and Gary Marlowe, will try to qualify today at Hillendale, near Baltimore.

The U.S, Open is June 13-16 at Oakland Hills Country Club, Birmingham, Mich. Fuzzy Zoeller is defending champion.

Woody FitzHugh, last year's Middle Atlantic PGA player of the year, finished double bogey-bogey at International for 77 -- 149 and became fourth alternate.