The sixth and 10th holes at Congressional, both converted from par-5s to par-4s to challenge the PGA big boys, are causing consternation among many Kemper Open players.
"I think the sixth hole is the worst hole out there," said Dale Doughlass, who just happened to make 6 there. "It's exciting par-5 hole, but as a par-4 I don't like it. With the wind in your face, or if you don't hit our drive 280 yards, you've got a blind second shot to a green. Not many good par-4s around them. This is a par-72 golf course if I've ever seen one."
"It's a blanket-blank hole," chimed in Joe Inman, who took bogey-5 on No. 6, where the pin yesterday was tucked behind the left bunker. Douglass hit a weak drive and his second shot found trees on the left. He ended up making a six-foot putt for a "hard 6."
"The criticism lies with those who determined we should play those two holes as par-4s," added Douglass, who finished with 76.
John Mazza, who led Monday's "rabbit" qualifying with a 66, put his second shot at No. 6 into the water. He took a penalty drop and then hit a wedge shot into the hole for "routine" par.
Mike Reid was one under par coming to the sixth but found the pond with his second shot and took a double bogey.
"The 10th hole falls into the same category," said Douglas. Mark McCumber felt its wrath with a triple bogey. Making double-bogey 6 were Larry Ringer, Jim Thorpe, Lee Elder, Bruce Lictzke, Hubert Green and six others.
Al Green, former Langston and Middle Atlantic PGA pro, saw a fine round turn to merely a good one when he double-bogeyed his final hole of the day, the monstrous 602-yard par-5 ninth, to finish with 73.
"I still think I have a great shot at making the cut," Green said. "That would be a great thrill. This course can beat you to death, it's so long."
Green played the back nine first and was one under par through 12 holes. "Then I got my adrenaline going and I started to swing at it a little too hard," said Green, now a distributor for a beer company who still retains his status as a MAPGA pro. "I started swinging a little too quick and started hooking it." Green hooked behind trees on his finishing hole (the ninth). His second shot caught a tree and he reached the green in five strokes and two-putted for double bogey.
Ron Terry, a former MAPGA pro now on the PGA tour, double-bogeyed the sixth hole, then rebounded with birdies on Nos. 8, 9, 10 and 16 to be in the thick of the tournament with even-par 70. Terry led the tournament briefly but quickly left Congressional, prompting one wag to comment, "He's not the leader in the clubhouse, he's the leaderon the road."
Washington touring pro Lee Elder got off to a horrid start when he put his second shot on the 10th hole into the water and sufferred double-bogey 6. Elder bogeyed the long ninth hole to finish with 77 and is just about out of the hunt.
"I played bad and I putted bad," said Elder. "That was it."
D.A. Weibring, who pulled muscles in the vicinity of his ribs two weeks ago, withdrew after a front-nine 41.
In PGA events, a player must have a medical doctor verify injury when withdrawing during a round. A golfer may withdraw from the tournament after a round by consulting a tournament official.
Attendance for yesterday's opening day was about 10,000 according to Kemper Open Executive Director Billy Booe.
"I had hoped we might have had a few more people here today, given the good weather," said Booe, who added that if the weather remains clear, 25,000 fans are expected each day of the weekend. Tickets, priced at $12, are available at the gate.