Jody Evans of Chevy Chase returned the prestigious Keefer Cup to the host club for the first time in 17 years yesterday with a two-day net total of 142, four strokes better than Springfield's Fran Gudely.

The event, which annually kicks off the Women's District Golf Association tournament season, was begun in 1932 by the late Mrs. Frank Keefer, a former WDGA persident.

Low gross for the Keefer went to Carol Davies of Washingtonian, who had gross 79 yesterday for a two-day total of 163. Davies' 79 was matched by defending champion Betty Looney of Army Navy two-time District champion. Looney finished tied for third with clubmate Em Kennedy at net 147.

Looney was an early leader and her two-over-par 37 on the back nine put her in good position for a second consecutive trophy.

But Evans, a onetime junior golfer of national reputation when she lived in Philadelphia, came through to win the event after 13 years of trying. She has a 13 handicap and shot a two-day gross of 168 for her net 142.

Evans attributed her success to Gene Mattari, Chevy Chase assistant pro, who changed her grip and her swing. "I didn't even make the cut for the Keefer last year," she said, "but Gene took me over this year and straightened me out."

Evans was out in 43 yesterday and home in 38. She had a double-bogey 6 on the fifthe hole when her ball found a trap on the second shot. She came out long and three-putted. She bogeyed the next four holes going out and then rallied on the back nine.

Evans parred the 10th and 11th holes and bogeyed the 12th.But she birdied the short 13th when she put a three-wood shot four feet from the cup. She played steadily from that point on.

Gudely was out in 47 and back in 39. She had three double-bogeys on the front side but settled down on the easier back nine. Looney had seven straight pars in her round of 79. CAPTION: Picture, Jody Evans