Em Kennedy, of Army Navy Country Club, said yesterday at the 49th Keefer Cup Tournament at Chevy Chase that she had never won anything.

Aided by a 14 handicap, she fashioned a net 69 to lead a field of 58 by a stroke after the first day of play in the two-day tournament, the opening event on the Women's District Golf Association's major circuit for 1980.

In second place was Ruth Brubaker, of River Bend, who returned from four years overseas last year to lead the first day's field only to falter on the final 18.

In third place at net 71, two strokes out of the lead, was Mary Kauffman of Bethesda Country Club. Kauffman had called from home to disqualify herself because she thought she had signed the wrong score.

A check by the rules committee revealed no infraction. Kauffman's confusion stemmed from the fact that she had started on the back nine.

The cutoff score was net 79 with 37 women qualifying for the final round today. Defending champion Jody Evans, of the Host Club, had a 78.

Kennedy was out in 44 back in 39. She had only one double bogey, on the short ninth hole when she put her drive behind a tree, reached the green in two strokes but three-putted. She made a birdie on the short 10th when she put a seven-iron three feet from the pin.

No golfer was able to break 80 gross. The closet was Chris Epperly of Army Navy who came in with an 81. Epperly has a five handicap.

Betty Looney, who won the cup two years ago, came in with a net 72 to remain in striking distance.