Double eagle `was a dicey shot'

From 219 yards, Dunlap holes his ball on No. 6

Kemper Open

May 28, 1999|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

POTOMAC -- Scott Dunlap, in the midst of the best season of what has been an on-and-off PGA Tour career, highlighted his 3-under-par 68 with the third double eagle of his professional life during the first round of the Kemper Open at TPC-Avenel yesterday.

Starting at No. 10 on the 7,005-yard, par-71 course, Dunlap had one birdie and one bogey on the back to turn even, then birdied the first and bogeyed the fifth to still be even going to No. 6.

At the 520-yard dog-leg right hole, he hit driver, and had 219 yards to the hole. From there, he hit a 3-iron shot that hit on the front edge and rolled eight feet into the cup, "just like a putt."

Of the shot, he said: "I ripped a low cut and was hoping to get it back there. I thought I had rolled it past the hole. I was giving the club back to my caddie and I heard the crowd go ballistic.

"It was a dicey shot. You miss and you get six. But I'm the kind of guy that goes down swinging."

Dunlap, 35, earned his second chance at the tour when he tied for the 35th and final place in last fall's qualifying school.

In 10 starts prior to this week, he had made seven cuts and earned almost $200,000. His best finish was a tie for third at Doral, and he came here off a tie for 60th at the Byron Nelson Classic two weeks ago. He opened 64 to be among the top 10, then was at the opposite end after closing with a 77.

His first crack at the tour came following a qualifying effort in 1995 after an itinerant professional career, in which he won in Canada, South Africa (site of his two previous double eagles) and Argentina.

With the top 125 on the money list retaining their cards, he was No. 124 after his rookie year. He slipped back to 153 in 1997, and spent last year on the Nike Tour.

There, he earned $164,000.

Eagles flying

Dunlap's double eagle was followed by two eagles. Brian Watts did it at the par-5 13th on his way to a 4-under 67, and Jim Furyk at the par-4 15th en route to a 70.

Retiring chairman

Ben Brundred Jr., general chairman of the Kemper Open since 1987, has announced his retirement following this year's tournament.

Actively involved with the event when it moved from Charlotte, N.C., to Congressional Country Club, he became the general chairman when the event moved across the street to the newly opened TPC-Avenel.

Although giving up the day-to-day duties, Brundred will continue to work with the PGA Tour and this tournament.

Told of the impending change, Fred Funk said: "He is like the father of the Kemper. He's become a good friend, and I'm sad he is retiring, but glad, too. He needs to stop worrying about this tournament."

Double eagles

Kemper Open 1991: Mark Brooks, No. 6, third round

1998: Woody Austin, No. 6, first round

1999: Scott Dunlap, No. 6, first round

1999 PGA Tour

Jerry Kelly, No. 14, Indian Wells CC, Bob Hope Classic; Tommy Tolles, No. 2, Tucson National, Tucson Open; Charles Raulerson, No. 1, Doral Resort, Doral Open; Scott Dunlap, No. 6, TPC-Avenel, Kemper Open

Pub Date: 5/28/99

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