Lois Ledbetter of Rockville appeared to have beaten Karen Jones of Rockville, 1 up, after 18 holes for the Women's District Golf Association championship yesterday at Bretton Woods.

But five minutes after the match, the referee determined that Ledbetter had broken a rule on the 18th hole. Her penalty evened the match and she and Jones were called back to the course to continue.

Ledbetter parred the first playoff hole to win when Jones three-putted and bogeyed.

In regulation, Ledbetter, of Lakewood Country Club, won the 17th hole in the seesaw match to take a 1-up lead.

Playing the par-5 18th, Ledbetter hit her second shot into the sand trap in front of the green. Someone had left a rake in the bunker.

Before she played her third shot, Ledbetter took the rake -- which was not near her ball -- from the trap, raking away her footprints as she went.

"I should have spotted it when it occurred," said match referee Joan Coffman. "You can't touch the ground in the hazard with a club or otherwise before the shot."

Jones, a former winner of this tournament and the Maryland Women's Amateur, did not see the infraction and appeared to have lost the match on that hole after Ledbetter matched her par.

Five minutes later, Jones was back in the match when Coffman called the penalty. "I asked her {Ledbetter} if she had done it and she said 'Yes,' " Coffman said.

Ledbetter, who kept her composure after the infraction by hitting two excellent shots and making par said: "I made a mistake and I deserved to lose the hole. That's the rule. I know that's a rule, but in the heat of battle it did not occur to me. If I had lost, I never would have forgiven myself."

Carol Davies of Argyle beat Fran Schultz of Army Navy, 2 and 1, to win the championship consolation; Rita Chadwick of Lakewood beat Pam Smyth of Congressional, 2 and 1, to win the first flight; Pat Zirkle of Army Navy beat Lois Finley of Kenwood, 2 and 1, to win the second flight; the third-flight winner was Timmie Weisbaum of Westwood, who beat Dottie Bennett of International, 2 and 1; and Kay Tyler of Kenwood beat Sally Finneran of Army Navy, 3 and 2, to win the fourth flight.