Before teeing off in yesterday's Fellowship of Christian Athletes pro-am tournament J. C. Snead was poor-mouthing his golf game -- like a football coach who says he has no prospects for the coming season.
"I can't seem to put anything together that will last," he said. I play a couple of rounds well and then come the point where I don't know if Ill ever play again worth a hoot. When it gets to a point where I'm not making a living -- expenses are so great out here you've got to get out."
Then Sam Snead's nephew went out and finished the front nine at Country club of Fairfax with four straight birdies and finished at 68 to beat 24 other PGA Tour pros for the $2,000 first prize.
Snead treated the tight layout with respect. On the back nine, he used his driver only once. On the long holes, he simply dropped the ball on the turf and using a one-iron, whistled the ball down the middle, except on the par-5 12th hole. There, he pulled his tee shot left, was forced to play a safe shot back to the fairway, and made bogey. Snead went back to three under par with a birdie on the par-3 13th hole and then parred in.
On the final hole, he chose his driver -- the club that has been giving him trouble -- and crushed the ball. He wedged onto the final green and two-putted for par.
"I hit the one-iron good today, but you can't play Congressional without a driver," said Snead, refering to the Kemper Open, which starts Thrusday.
Second-year pro Scott Simpson made three birdies but bogeyed the 17th hole and finished second at 69.
David Eger, who won the first FCA last year, tied for third at even par 71 with Mike Sullivan, Ed Fiori, Craig Stadler, Bob Gilder and Joe Inman.
Stadler, winner of this year's Bob Hope Desert Classic and Greater Greensboro Open, had trouble adjusting from the slick putting surfaces at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, where he played Sunday, to the slower greens of Fairfax. One of his four three-putts came on the first hole from eight feet. Still, for the pros as well as for the amateurs, who paid $500 to play, it was a day of fun in the sun.
"It's a day off from our weekly grind," said Stadler. "It was fun out there."
The fivesome drawing largest gallery included touring pro Miller Barber and Redskin quarterback Joe Theismann, who plays to a 13 handicap at Westwood Country Club in Vienna.
"I think it's really nice of the pros to play here," said Theismann. "Look at Miller Barber. He finished (fourth) in the Memorial last night and jumped on a plane to be here. It's a great cause."
PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman withdrew with an arm injury.
Larry Nelson, second leading money winner last year, ballooned to 76.