3 find 66s particularly gratifying

Young Stockton near lead

Appleby, Carnevale rally

Kemper notebook

May 29, 1999|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

POTOMAC -- Three 66s -- the low second-round number -- provided renewed enthusiasm for three players with varied Kemper Open backgrounds.

One of the scores boosted Dave Stockton Jr. into a three-way tie for second (136), three strokes off the lead halfway through the TPC-Avenel program.

Another helped defending champion Stuart Appleby recover from an opening 74 to stand at 2-under-par 140, and finally, in late afternoon, Mark Carnevale, in only his third 1999 start on the PGA Tour, more than made up for an opening 75 to make the cut at 141.

Three others also shot 66 -- Mike Sposa (139), Jay Delsing (140) and Gabriel Hjertstedt (141).

"This is my sixth year here, and the first time I've made the cut," said Stockton, who recalled being 8 years old and visiting the White House the week his father won the PGA Championship across the street at Congressional Country Club in 1976.

A non-exempt player this year, he still has started 14 times, with this his sixth cut. "I'm 6-under par for a reason -- I'm playing well. For six years, I've wanted to play on the weekend, so I'm looking forward to it."

Carnevale, on and off the tour since 1983, and perhaps in this area better known as a son of former Naval Academy basketball coach Ben Carnevale, is also non-exempt, and coming off an early-season shoulder injury that sidelined him for seven weeks.

"I played two tour events and some Nike events, but I've been inconsistent," he said. "Every event, it was `no confidence,' but Thursday when I was even par with four holes to go and went double-bogey, bogey, bogey, I felt OK.

"I figured I had to shoot one or two under this time, then thought 67 would be enough, and rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt at 18," he added, sharing the moment with his caddie, Mike McCarthy, a good area amateur player.

The cut fell at 3-over-par 145, and 75 will continue today and tomorrow. Among the casualties were former champions Tom Kite, Billy Andrade and Andy Bean, plus John Daly.

Coming through

Rodney Butcher, medalist by two strokes in the Monday four-spot qualifier at Little Bennett Golf Course, didn't put up another 67, but his 71-72143 was good enough to make the cut in his first Kemper appearance.

The two rounds were a study in contrasts. "Today, I got everything out of it I could, which was the opposite of yesterday," he said. "It was the difference between missing one fairway and hitting four."

Donnie Hammond, a tour irregular this season after losing his player's card, put up a second straight solid round for 72-71--143. This is his sixth event, fifth cut, with a best finish of a tie for 17th at New Orleans.

"The break has given me a chance to spend time with the family and get some things straightened out. I probably needed the break and I've played enough," the Frederick native said.

Fred Funk birdied three holes on the back nine, including the par-3 17th on which he made a four-foot putt, and posted a second straight 72.

The tour's straightest hitter hit every fairway and 15 greens, but "my putting was horrendous."

Nevertheless, it got Funk, from College Park, into the weekend here for a second straight year, and extended his 1999 record to 13 cuts in 16 starts.

Missing out

Edward "Curly" Bishop Jr., from New Market, was easily the most enthusiastic 74-78152 shooter one ever saw.

"I had a fairy-tale week," said Bishop, 31, a happy-go-lucky individual outside the ropes, who was a Monday qualifier.

"Hey, I've got a great attitude. I was inside the ropes, and had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it."

One who has been here before (and certainly will try to get back again next year) is Rick Schuller. The teaching professional from River Creek CC in Leesburg, Va., one of two Middle Atlantic PGA pros in the field, recovered from Thursday's nightmarish 85 to shoot 76.

In the process, he drove the green on the 301-yard 14th, narrowly missed the cup, then two-putted for birdie, the last of his four. This marked his fourth successive Kemper, and sixth overall, dating to 1988.

The other MAPGA entry, Dirk Schultz, head pro at Beaver Creek Country Club, who was in his second Kemper, shot 76-74--150, while Monday qualifiers Cliff Kresge and Richard Coughlan, each shot 147.

Pub Date: 5/29/99

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