Pro-am gave clues that par was in trouble Kemper Open notes

May 31, 1991|By Phil Jackman

POTOMAC -- Maybe the all-out assault on par during the opening round of the Kemper Open yesterday should have been anticipated considering the way things went during Wednesday's pro-am.

For openers, Joey Sindelar's 63 is the unofficial course record for Avenel. Russ Cochran equaled the old mark with his 64. And Jay Don Blake had a hole-in-one as he and his three amateur partners had a best-ball 47.

How well did the field of 156 fare yesterday? A whopping 65 percent (102) had par or better, and, generally speaking, they faced fairly tough pin placements all day. There were a half-dozen nine-hole scores of 31.

* One of the players who is in the five-way tie for second place at 66 is Neal Lancaster, who got married Saturday. "This is my honeymoon and all I'm trying to do is relax," he said. And perhaps make a few extra dollars so he can afford a real honeymoon.

* Laurel's Fred Funk finished with a birdie and a nice saving par to check at 71. "When I started out, I expected to do something," he said, "but I didn't do a thing with the putter. I couldn't get the speed [of the greens] down."

* The Sony rankings list the world's top players and it reads: 1. Ian Woosnam; 2. Jose-Maria Olazabal; 3. Nick Faldo; 4. Greg Norman; 5. Paul Azinger; 6. Seve Ballesteros; 7. Payne Stewart; 8. Hale Irwin; 9. Bernhard Langer; 10. Mark McNulty.

You really know your linksmen if you recognize the name of that last guy.

* Hal Sutton says that as a rookie on the PGA Tour, he played 16 straight tournaments. "Had to. I kept making the cut, and I wanted to avoid resting a week so I wouldn't have to go through Monday qualifying."

* Greg Norman, who used to say nasty things about Avenel, now says: "Mother Nature has done its job getting the course ready. I'll put this tournament back on my rotation, and I'm usually not a fan of TPC courses."

* The Kemper set a first-day crowd record covering its five years at Avenel with close to 20,000 in attendance.

* It was almost a tournament's who's who at 1-under-par 70: Tom Kite, Lanny Wadkins, Ben Crenshaw, Andy Bean, Donnie Hammond (of Frederick) and Ryder Cup captain Dave Stockton . . . Richard Holland was the top amateur at 69.

* Co-leader Scott Gump had only two rounds under 70 in his last 30 trips before yesterday's 65.

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