A lot of water and several cold, wet towels were as important as seven birdies to Steve Madsen and Robert Redman's win in the Middle Atlantic pro-assistant golf championship yesterday at Bethesda Country Club.

Madsen, the head PGA professional at Lakewood Country Club, and his assistant, Redman, did their best to keep cool on a sweltering day. They shot a 6-under-par 64 in the four-ball stroke play tournament on the 6,644-yard course to share the $2,035 first-place prize. The top 32 finishers received a portion of the $13,116 purse.

This is Madsen's second win in three years at this event. He also won in 1997, with assistant Bryan Koslosky, who now works at Crofton.

This year the tournament was reduced from a two-day event to one day, increasing the participation to the largest field in recent memory. Seventy-eight two-man teams withstood the severe weather conditions, with temperatures above 100 degrees.

"It was pretty hot," Madsen said. "But actually I didn't think it was that bad."

Apparently, neither did Redman, who left immediately after their round to play a practice round for the Maryland Open at Hillendale.

There were no heat-related incidents on the course yesterday, perhaps because the golfers kept themselves hydrated. After the MAPGA went through the 10 cases of water it brought in, it bought another four cases. Once that supply was exhausted, coolers filled with ice water were used to replenish the empty bottles. The MAPGA also had cold, wet towels available for the golfers at stations throughout the course.

Three birdies by Redman put the team at 3 under after the front nine. Their only bogey was on No. 10, when Redman's ball went past the green and left him with no shot, and Madsen three-putted. Madsen then went on to birdie the next three holes. Redman made a 12-foot putt for birdie on No. 16 that clinched the team's win.

"We were never in any real trouble," Madsen said. "We had a good time."

Bob Bilbo and David Long of Golden Bear Golf Center and Thomas Joyce and Mark Croye of Hidden Valley tied for second place with 65.