Shelley Savage of Arlington, Va., struggled down the stretch, but a solid pitch shot and a 10-foot par putt on the last hole enabled her to defeat Katie O'Neil of Timonium and win the 63rd annual women's amateur championship of the Middle Atlantic Golf Association yesterday.
Savage, a lieutenant commander in the Navy Nurse Corps stationed at Bethesda Naval Hospital, finished 72-78--150 over the South Course at Turf Valley Country Club, prevailing when O'Neil hung a 6-foot birdie putt on the lip of the cup at the 18th green. O'Neil ended 73-78--151.
Savage dumped her tee shot in the front hazard at the 158-yard 17th and wound up with a double bogey, while Kraus made a routine par and O'Neil made a tough up-and-down shot from the right hillside, and followed with a 15-foot putt.
At the 392-yard 18th, a par-5 for women, Savage, with a 1-stroke lead on her two closest pursuers, and Kraus drove into the right trees. Savage advanced her ball about 30 yards, then put her third shot in the right rough short of the green. Kraus hit a good second shot, then needed two to reach the green and two-putted for bogey.
"I scrambled the whole day," Savage said. "The overnight rain was a big factor, as the course played much different than the first day."
NOTES: Connie Pifer of Baltimore and Hunt Valley GC had the best round of the day, a 1-over-par 73, and climbed into fourth place, 81-73154. . . . Joan Jenkins of Frostburg had a hole-in-1 at the 126-yard fourth hole.
The leaders: Championship -- Shelley Savage, 72-78150; Katie O'Neil 73-78151; Andrea Kraus 77-75152; Connie Pifer 81-73154; Cami Berher 80-78158; Jane Mason 78-80158; Joan Lins 80-80160. Group I -- Kelly Just 79-82161; Shoko Heuvel 78-87165; Pat Peck 81-86167. Group II -- Pat Hagan 85-87172; Jean Mulcahey 89-84173; Tinker Eck 85-90175; Midge Thursby 84-92176. Group III -- Marie Hess 88-83171; Becky Biggs 91-85176; Jean Reiser 86-94180. Group IV -- Eleanor Appling 88-94182; Helen Quick 93-93186; Jane Emich 91-95186; Phyllis Lang 95-93188. Group V -- Lynn Kilby 92-97189; Betty Robinson 92-99191; Erica Overholser 96-103199.