Things were casual in yesterday's Pro-am at Congressional Country Club that preceded the chase for the big money starting today in the Kenper Open.
PGA pros Lee Tervino and Chi Chi Rodriguez acted the part of cutups before teeing off in the field of 48 pros and 118 amateurs paying $1500 a piece.
"God gave me the ability to play well from tee to green," said the Merry Mex. "So how come I have to putt like Ray Charles?" Tom Purtzer was low pro yesterday with a bogeyless round of 66.
"I drove the ball really good," said Purtzer, who has a history of playing the course well. "The longest iron I had to use on any of the par-4s was a five-iron."
Purtzer made two birdies n the front and two on the back for twin nines of 33.
J. C. Snead's team, with considerable help from amateur Bill Booe Jr., won the pro-am. The team finished 15 under par, one shot ahead of the team led by Howard Twitty.
Booe, of Saratoga Falls, N. Y. aided his team by reaching the 602-yard, par 5 ninth hole in two prodigious shots and sinking his putt for an eagle.
Pro Jack Renner, who once said his goal was to play 72 holes of golf without smiling, put his arms around his amateur partners and posed for shutterbugs. Cameras will be forbidded during the Kemper. Then demonstrated how a skinny guy can power a golf ball 250 yards down the middle.
Tom Watson, leading PGA Tour money-winner, had Washington Redskin quarterback Joe Theismann in his group. Theismann pushed his group. Theismann pushed his opening drive to the right and a spectator yelled, "Come back."
Then Watson, whom everyone expected to drive straight down the center, also hit tee shot far to the right, near Theismann's ball.
Also attracting a reasonably large gallery was the fivesome of former president Gerald R. Ford, House Speaker Thomas (Tip) O'Neill, defending Kemper champion Jerry McGee and Illinois Congressman Bob Michel and Dan Rostenkowski.
The day's most electric moment came when Arnold Palmer, who did'nt join the Kemper field until the deadline Sunday, emerged from autograph seekers and was greeted by thunderous applause of the gallery, six spectators deep, surrounding the first tee.
Trevino set the tone of the day with his banter. He told this joke on the eighth tee: "A guy goes to the doctor with a bad case of the shanks. The doctor says the only cure is two ounces of lead in you left ear. The guy asks, 'How do I get two ounces of lead in your left ear?' 'You put a .45 to the right side of your head,' the doctor tells him."