Mike Watson woke up at 3:30 yesterday morning and tossed and turned, thinking about the birdie he and partner Steve Madsen would have to make to capture the 39th annual Maryland Pro-Am Championship.
On the drive through rush hour traffic from Rockville to the Baltimore Country Club, the twosome from Lakewood Country Club discussed the task that lay ahead, which consisted of trying to beat the host club pair of Brian Morrison and Bob Kaestner in a playoff.
"Steve said he had a tough time sleeping, too, thinking about that birdie we needed to make," said Watson, Lakewood's club champion and a salesman for Nationwide Insurance in Rockville.
On the second playoff hole, Watson put an end to the suspense, sinking a 7-foot putt for a birdie after both twosomes parred the first hole.
"Steve topped his drive, so the pressure was on me," Watson said. "My drive got me within 148 yards of the green and an 8-iron left me the seven-foot putt."
Morrison and Kaestner missed their birdie putts, both shorter than Watson's, and the Lakewood duo took the championship.
Madsen received $1,000 as the top professional and Watson got a $350 gift certificate for merchandise at the Baltimore CC pro shop. Morrison received the $700 second prize and Kaestner was awarded a $250 certificate.
"Mike's a good partner," Madsen said, noting that it was their first pro-am together. "He got me out of a hole."
"They played well," Morrison said. "They were one shot better. I salute their fine play."
The playoff started on No. 14 because other holes were still soggy from the torrential rain Monday night. Play had been suspended with 22 players still on the course, and resumed yesterday morning.
Only a few twosomes showed up in the belief they still had a chance to catch Morrison-Kaestner and Madsen-Watson, who tied at a best-ball 64 before the storm, but none was able to do so.