Buddy Peoples completed a personal grand slam in record-smashing fashion at Mount Pleasant Golf Course yesterday.
The Crofton Country Club member polished off the 25th annual Maryland Amateur Stroke Play championship with a closing round of 2-over-par 73 and a 54-hole total of 214.
He had started the warm, breezy afternoon with a three-shot lead, and none got closer. At the end, he had the same margin over four who shared second place.
He has finished first and second in three of the area's major men's championships -- Maryland State Amateur and District Amateur (Washington Metropolitan Golf Association) in addition to this one -- and been first and second low amateur in the Maryland Open.
The 214 also erased the tournament record of 216 set by Justin Klein of Hunt Valley Golf Club last year.
Klein (72), 1987 titlist Bob Kaestner (73) of Baltimore CC and 1990 winner Bill Stout (71) of Washington Golf & CC were among the four at 217. They were joined by Mark Farrell (73) of Hunt Valley GC, who had the weekend's low round of 69 Saturday.
"I played really well, striking the ball well tee to green," Peoples said. "I hit the first eight greens, missed the ninth, where I made bogey, then hit six more on the back."
The golf course really began at No. 11, as four successive holes played more or less dead into a stiff breeze.
Peoples got through this stretch with two bogeys to slip 1-over par for the tournament, then made a good two-putt par at the 15th and struck a 110-yard wedge shot that hit just short of the cup and rolled three feet past. "At 17, [a deceiving 200-yard par-3], I was just playing for 4. I didn't want to do anything stupid at that point."
There was a three-shot swing with Kaestner at No. 3, when Peoples birdied from six feet and Kaestner made a double bogey. The losing finalist in the State Amateur three weeks ago battled back through the middle of the round to three birdie putts and make up four strokes on the leader in six holes. A three-putt bogey at the 13th, however, slowed that pursuer.
He was in position to put up a scare when he hit a driver and a magnificent 1-iron shot to eight feet at the 14th, a par-4 uphill test that played much longer than its listed 438 yards, but he missed the putt.
Klein's challenge was blunted by two three-putt bogeys and a missed three-footer for birdie.
Farrell was steady, but could not muster a charge, and Stout simply had too much ground to make up, as he began the round five strokes off the pace.
Joe Records of Hunt Valley GC had the day's low round, a 70, and tied for 13th.
"This course is such a good test of golf," Peoples said, "that, especially in my position, I couldn't worry about the others. I had to execute my own shots."