In `onesome,' Porter felt lonely at the top

Two partners withdraw during delay with him up 1

Kemper Open notebook

Golf

May 26, 2001|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

POTOMAC -- If Lee Porter felt lonely going out after yesterday's rain delay during the second round of the $3.5 million Kemper Insurance Open, he could be forgiven.

How would it feel if you were leading the tournament and your two playing partners decided to go home?

That is what happened when Porter returned to the course after the delay without Mark McCumber or Chris Perry, both of whom withdrew during the break.

"It was really weird at the time," said Porter, who was 8-under at that point and one shot ahead. "Mark McCumber told me pretty much riding back in the van [when play was suspended] that he was not going to come back. I figured Chris would come back. He wasn't playing that poorly. He had only two bad holes starting out."

Porter wound up playing a little more than a hole by himself before Rick Fehr, a friend of Porter's playing in the group ahead, went back to join him. Porter parred each of the 12 holes after the break and is one stroke behind leader Bradley Hughes of Australia.

"Playing a onesome was kind of weird," Porter said. "Luckily, the officials asked if one of the fellows in front of me would be willing to drop back, and Rick Fehr is a very good friend of mine and was nice enough to do that. I think it helped a lot. Playing in a onesome behind a threesome probably wouldn't have been that easy."

A shot in the dark

How dark did it get out there? It was pretty dark for all of the players who returned to the course after the rain delay, but even darker for Hughes. He has worn wraparound, non-prescription sunglasses for several years and wasn't about to take them off.

"I took them off [briefly] ... the ground looks so wavy," Hughes said. "It looks like everything had extra hills. I couldn't see the ball hardly the last couple of holes. It might be good. Maybe I was seeing breaks differently in the dark or something."

No excuse

Defending champion Tom Scherrer couldn't blame the weather for his play: He was long finished after rounds of 72 and 79.

"It's very disappointing," said Scherrer, who will miss the cut for his third straight tournament and for the eighth time in 15 events this year. "It happens to everyone. Every golfer goes through something like this. It's not going to ruin my memories of last year."

Et cetera

Of the 45 players left on the course last night when play was suspended at 8:08 p.m., 35 plan to return today to complete the round. The cut, which will be made when the round is finished this morning, will likely be at even-par.

Among those who will likely miss the cut include Joe Durant (1-over 142), former champions Grant Waite, Steve Stricker (3-over 145) and Rich Beem (5-over 147). Crowd favorite John Daly also likely will miss the cut (4-over 146).

Former two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, who had missed the cut in all eight of his events this year and only one in his last 34 over three years, is a near lock with two rounds of 70.

Frederick native Donnie Hammond, a two-time winner whose last victory was in 1989, was at 5-under-par 137 after a 66.

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