Amateur Olin Browne, a former Washington resident, and Middle Atlantic PGA pro Brian Staveley shot two-under-par 69s to lead four golfers in Kemper Open qualifying yesterday at Poolesville.
The other qualifiers in the field of 82 were Jay Lindner, assistant pro at International, who finished with four straight 3s for 70, and Great Falls pro Woody FitzHugh, who won a three-man playoff among players at 71. FitzHugh parred the second extra hole to beat out pro Jeff Thomsen of Atlanta and amateur Jerry Waters of Germantown.
Amateur Browne, 24, who studies golf under Jack Nicklaus' mentor Jack Grout in North Palm Beach, Fla., went to St. Albans School in Washington before leaving this area eight years ago. He played the back nine first and made three birdies for a three-under-par 32. Brown added another birdie on his final nine.
"I'm not going to come down for a week," said a tired but elated Browne, who will be playing in his first PGA Tour event. "I'm really thrilled to be in the Kemper. But if I get awed by those pros, I'll shoot 90."
It was the first success in three attempts at Kemper qualifying for Staveley, 28, teaching pro at Bowie Golf and Country Club. "The Kemper will be the first time I'll ever play in a (PGA) tour event. I kinda feel I've paid my dues and we'll see what the outcome is," he said.
Staveley made seven birdies and three bogeys on the public course he described as "sneaky tough" because of swirling winds
Lindner, 22, played the front nine without a birdie for 39. The left-hander then eagled the par-5 11th hole when he hit his three-iron second shot 15 feet from the cup. He chipped into the hole for birdie at 15, and then birdied 16 and 18 for an incoming 31. FitzHugh, who owns his own driving range, has made the Kemper field all four years it has been at Congressional.