Fred Widicus of Jefferson High School chipped into the cup for a winning birdie on the 16th hole and went on to defeat Mike Watson of Wootton, 2 and 1, to win the 52nd Frank Emmet Schoolboy Golf Championship yesterday at Manor Country Club.
Widicus, who recently turned 16, appeared in jeopardy of falling one hole down to last year's champion Watson as they approached the green at the par-4, 431-yard 16th hole. Widicus lay two just short of the green, 55 feet shy of the cup. Watson was on the green in two shots, 20 feet from the hole.
Widicus, the men's club champion at Army Navy, contemplated using an eight-iron for his chip, then opted for his wedge. His delicate chip rolled into the cup for birdie. After Watson missed his birdie putt, Widicus was ahead for the first time all morning.
"I knew if I didn't chip it close, I'd probably be one down going into the 17th hole," Widicus said. "I decided to go with the confidence (wedge)."
The match ended at the 238-yard, par-3 hole that followed. Widicus hit his tee shot short and to the right of the green. Watson's long tee shot hooked, hit a hard surface and bounced beyond the green and out of bounds. Watson, after taking a stroke and distance penalty, ended up conceding the hole and match to Widicus after he took a triple-bogey six on the hole.
The fluid-swinging Widicus, who seemed composed throughout, was two over par for the match.
"He talks about becoming a pro," said his mother Peg Widicus, the women's club champion at Army Navy. "His father and I talk about him getting a good education. Being a pro golfer is a tough life."
Watson, 17, of Lakewood Country Club, and bound for Odessa (Tex.) College on scholarship this autumn, was attempting to become the first repeat champion since Deane Beman, now the commissioner of the PGA Tour, won in 1955-56.