Jason Cage has been taking it easy this summer, sleeping in regularly and avoiding the golf course as much as possible. So the Loyola (Md.) junior and Springbrook High graduate seemed like an unlikely candidate to win this week's 49th annual Bubby Worsham Memorial junior golf tournament, which includes 7 a.m. tee times and as many as three days of competition at 18 holes per day.

But Cage took a break from his summer of relaxation, shooting a 54-hole total of 218 at Glenn Dale Golf Club in Greenbelt and successfully defending the tournament title yesterday with a six-stroke win.

Scott Landon, a Fairfax High graduate headed to Brevard (N.C.) College, shot a 224 to finish second, and Mark Cusic finished two strokes behind Landon for third.

The tournament is the fourth of five in the Washington Metro Golf Association's junior series, open to golfers 20 and younger. It was named for Arnold Palmer's roommate at Wake Forest, who died in a car accident.

Seventy-five golfers teed off Tuesday morning at the par-70 Glenn Dale course, and the field was cut to 23 for Wednesday's round and to 10 for yesterday.

Cage started the tournament with a 75, but then put up a 70 on Wednesday and a 73 yesterday, each the low score for the round. Cage won the tournament last year with a higher score, he said.

It was that win, after a quiet freshman season at Loyola, that Cage said spurred him on for his sophomore season, during which he won the Metro Atlantic Conference individual championship.

WDCGA CHAMPIONSHIP: Leland Beckel and Jessica Lewis breezed through their semifinal matches in the Women's District of Columbia Golf Association Amateur Championship at Columbia Country Club, setting up a final between two Columbia members. And on the 75th anniversary of the WDCGA's first tournament, today's championship matchup fits the occasion quite well.

Columbia is one of the five original clubs that made up the WDCGA, one of the first independent women's golf organizations in the country. Beckel, the No. 4-ranked women's amateur golfer in the United States, and Lewis, an 18-year-old in the middle of her best season, will play together for the first time today.

Beckel won her matches, 6 and 5 and 5 and 4, this week before defeating defending champion Nancy Gallagher-Jones, 7 and 6. Beckel birdied four of the 12 holes she played and parred the rest. Beckel was an amateur in 1989 and '90, turned pro, then recovered her amateur status in 1994. She won a WDCGA title in '96 and has competed in three U.S. Women's Amateurs.

So far in 1999, playing primarily in national amateur tournaments--the Eastern, Southern, Western and Trans-National amateurs--Beckel has been in two semifinals and finished no lower than a quarterfinalist. And with her round-of-16 finish in last year's U.S. Women's Amateur she earned an automatic berth into this year's tournament, which will be held next week.

Lewis won her first two rounds, 5 and 4 and 4 and 2, before defeating qualifying medalist and three-time champion Shawn McCullough, 5 and 3, yesterday in the semifinals, shooting par through 15 holes.

--Mitch Rubin