Slow greens and a half-hour rain delay hindered the participants in yesterday's final round of the Maryland Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Mount Pleasant Golf Course, but Buddy Peoples was able to shoot a 4-under-par 67 to win the title and set a tournament record .
Peoples (Crofton Country Club), who won the title in 1992, finished with a three-day total of 210 -- the first below-par combined score in the history of the tournament.
What is shocking is that he accomplished that score under some tough conditions.
Participants had complained of slow greens during the tournament and many putts were coming up short. Peoples, who missed a few short putts, was no exception.
"Normally I'm a very good putter," Peoples said. "When we teed off at about 11 o'clock this morning, it was fine and I actually putted all right. But as [the greens] got slower later in the day, it's very difficult to hit a 4-foot putt hard and I missed a lot of putts."
A brief storm hit while Peoples -- in the next-to-last group -- stood on the 16th green, breaking up play and sending everyone into the clubhouse for a half hour.
But as he defied the slow greens, Peoples also didn't let the delay affect him, as he came out and parred 16 and 17 and added a security stroke with a birdie on 18.
From about 15 feet away on the top of a slight decline at 18, Peoples' putt went in on the right side of the cup to seal the win.
"[The rain delay] didn't really bother me at that time," Peoples said. "I had a two-shot lead and it was only a half-hour. If it had been longer . . . it might have."
Runner-up Adrian Druzgala (Hobbits Glen) started the day in a tie for the lead and shot 2-over yesterday to fall behind Peoples. He finished at 214, which Peoples said, would have won the tournament any other year.
"Normally a 217-218 wins this tournament," Peoples said. "I think it's a tribute to the field that they're getting better golfers."
Another impressive performance came from 17-year-old Joey Chuasiriporn, a recent graduate of Loyola High School.
Chuasiriporn (Hunt Valley CC), playing in his third state amateur, finished at a personal-best 218, in a tie for eighth place. As one of the youngest players in the field, Chuasiriporn beat competitors who were more than twice his age.
"I can't be disappointed with this tournament because I played well the whole three rounds," Chuasiriporn said.