The PGA Tour has created more fan and player interest with the advent this year of published statistics of players' performances.
"We felt the PGA Tour was the only sprot that did not have statistics like baseball and football," said Byron Ferguson, who is in charge of the Statistics.
The weekly stats show average driving distance (led by second-round Kemper leader J.C. Snead at more than 270 yards), driving accuracy, greens hit in regulation, putting leaders, putts per round, par breakers (percentage of holes breaking par), birdie lewaders, eagle leaders, and saves, scoring leaders and money leaders.
This week, marshals measure and report to the scoreres each pro's driving distance on the third and sixth holes. "It is always holes where a driver is used and always two holes that run in the opposite directions to account for different weather conditions," Ferguson said, The longest drive measured so far this week was 313 yards, by John Fought, Thursday, on the sixth hole.
For the other statistics, volunteers ("God bless' em," said Ferguson) follow each threesome and fill out a work sheet which is given to Ferguson when the round is completed.
"Interest has picked up and players come in here and look at the statistics all the time," Ferguson said. "If a guy sees he's low in one of the categories, it may be an indicator of what he should practice."
But statistics can be misleading. Lee Trevino, second-leading money winner with $196,981, is not among the top 10 in driving distance, driving accuracy, putting leaders, birdie leaders, eagle leaders and sand saves.
But Trevino is third in a telling category, par breakers, with a .211 percentage. That means Trevino scores birdie on more than one-fifth of all the holes he plays. Trevino is second only to Tom Watson in the scoring leaders category, 70.37 strokes per round.
Because the Kemper Open brought so many PGA pros to this area, more PGA Tour pros than ever will tee it up Monday at Manor and Argyle country clubs for U.S. Open sectional qualifying.
Washington-area survivors of first phase local qualifying will have to compete for 14 U.S. Open spots with the likes of established PGA pros such as Mike Morley, Jim Simons, John Fought and Scott Simpson, among others. The U.S. Open will be held for an unpreceneted sixth time at Baltusrol, Springfield, N.J., June 12-15.
Mercifully for a lot of Kemper players, the placards denoting how a player stands to par do not exceed the figure "pluse 10." "That's very fortunate for a lot of players, including me," said Ron Terry, PGA Tour player and head pro at Edgewood Arsenal, Edgewood, Md. Actually, Terry has not gone higher than 10 over par.
During yeaterday's 42-minute raindelay, Hubert Green kept limber by hitting six brand new golf balls into the woods. Former University of Maryland player George Burns stroked practice putting balls on the tee box. "The tees here are smoother than the greens at my club," said one spectator.
Wheeler Stewart of Congressional, Fred Gibson of Germantown and Terry all will play in next week's Atlanta Golf Classic by virtue of making the cut here.
Of those three area players remaining, Terry had yesterday's best round with three birdies and 73,220.
Terry took double-bogey 6 on the par-4 fourth hole when he pushed his drive so far to the right the ball caught the sand trap on the third fairway.
"My driver is usually the best part of my game," related Terry, a huge hitter who said the 77 he took Friday hurt his chances after a fine opening-round 70.
Terry said he discovered he has been swaying when hitting the drive and predicted a round in the 60s today.
Stewart, teaching pro at Congressional, could be forgiven if he dug up the 18th hole with a bulldozer. For the second time in three days, he took a double bogey. He carded 75-223.
Yesterday, Stewart drove into the woods on the final hole. He played a left-handed shot, with his putter, back to the fairway and hit his third shot into a green-side bunker. He blasted out and two-putted for 6.
The rain delay hurt Gibson. The gritty pro who finished with 16 straight pars Friday to beat the cut by one stroke, made par on the first hole. Then the rains hit.
After the delay, he double-bogeyed the par-3 second hole, three-putting from six feet and finished with 77-224.
"I got tired out there," said gibson. On the par-4 sixth hole, Gibson's second shot came to rest atop a tree stump. He took a penalty stroke for an unplayable lie, chipped up and one-putted for "the 5 of my life."