Woods considered sure shot for Kemper Open June 4-7 Leonard, Janzen, Daly, Lehman are also in field

May 19, 1998|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

POTOMAC -- The Kemper Open is getting ready for its 12th trip to the TPC at Avenel and its first trip to the PGA Tour's version of nirvana.

A field that includes Tiger Woods. Though it won't be made official until a week from Friday, the 22-year-old superstar is considered a sure bet to play in the June 4-7 event.

"As of now, we're on Tiger's schedule," tournament chairman Ben Brundred said yesterday.

Woods, who broke a 10-month winless drought with his recent victory at the BellSouth Classic outside Atlanta, will likely play in next week's Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, and at the Kemper before taking a week off prior to the U.S. Open.

The 1997 Masters champion will headline what could be the most celebrated field in Kemper Open history.

Others in the field include defending champion and reigning British Open champion Justin Leonard, former Kemper and U.S. Open champions Lee Janzen and Tom Kite, former British Open and PGA champion John Daly and former British Open champion Tom Lehman.

Just as last year's date a week before the U.S. Open at Congressional helped draw several notable international players, this year's date two weeks before the Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco helped draw a number of the top American players.

"With the U.S. Open on the West Coast this year, it's perfect timing for my game," said Leonard.

Brundred said extra security details have been added in the event that Woods plays at Avenel. He added that reports of Woods' likely appearance have helped boost ticket sales by some $200,000 over last year.

Pub Date: 5/19/98

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