Calvin Peete, one of the hottest players on the PGA Tour, is receiving a $25,000 appearance fee for playing in the British Masters this week, according to sources who are at Congressional Country Club for the Kemper Open.
Peete did not choose to bypass the Kemper for the money, but because he wanted to familiarize himself with a British course before his first appearance in the British Open next month, according to Dusty Murdock of the International Management Group, Peete's agent and promoter of the British event.
"He hated missing this tournament. He's got lots of friends here," Murdock said. "But this was the only week before the British Open he could go. He would have played there without the guarantee."
The two-year extension of the Kemper Group's contract with Congressional County Club will increase the club's annual fee to $300,000 for playing host to the tournament. In the original four-year contract expiring this year, Congressional's fee is $250,000.
Kemper officials decline to reveal the amount of ticket sales, but Labron Harris Jr., executive director of the Kemper, says the tournament has yet to reach a break-even point here. However the "administrative costs," as Harris refers to them, include advertising and entertainment.
The tournament lost its first top player from the original 156-man field when Wayne Levi, eighth leading money winner on the tour last year, withdrew because his wife is ill. Other withdrawls yesterday were Jerry Heard, Tom Jones, Mike Donald, Bill Britton and Ron Streck. They were replaced by Jeff Sluman, George Cadle, Skeeter Heath, Ed Dougherty, Beau Baugh and Mark Calcavecchia. SCHEDULE/ADMISSION
Today: 7:30 a.m.--Pro-am tournament. $15 (grounds only), $22 (grounds and clubhouse).
Thursday: 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.--First round. $15, $22.
Friday: 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.--Second round. $15, $22.
Saturday: 9 a.m.--Third round. $15, $22.
Sunday: Time to be announced, depending on NBA playoffs--Final round. $15, $22.
USA Cable will televise Friday's second round on a delayed basis from 8 to 10 p.m.; CBS will televise live Saturday (3:30-4:30 p.m.) and Sunday (2-4 p.m. if there is an NBA playoff game; 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. if there is no NBA game). Tickets for the week are $60 (grounds only) and $90 (grounds and clubhouse); children's tickets (grounds only) are available for $5 daily, if child is accompanied by a paying adult.