WANTED: Brute known to have assaulted the rich and famous; cannot be clubbed to death, though many have tried. Greenish complexion, especially hairy about the extremeties. Only known way to survive is by hitting its bald spot with a small pellet from afar and then using a mallet to ram that pellet into what may be an air hole.

Although unarmed, the 18th hole at Congressional is A considered dangerous. Every exceptional course has its "Monster" that humbles even the golfing mighty and No. 18 is among the top 10 killer holes on the pro tour. To be exact, or as precise as statistics allow, the final hole of the Kemper Open was the eighth toughest of the nearly 800 holes the touring pros attacked last year.

"I'm surprised there were seven ahead of it," Pat Lindsey said after the first round yesterday.

The view from the tee box at 18 suggests that the earth might come to an abrupt end 300 yards or so straight ahead. But trees and sand farther off in the distance reassure that civilization indeed beckons down in the valley.

From blue tee markers in the shape of the Capitol dome to the cup, the hole measures 465 yards. The Frankenstein who designed it says four love taps ought to fetch par.

With water off to the left and lies that generally encourage a shot in that direction, the fainthearted this week might quivver in his cleats before an approach shot and mumble to his caddie:

"Gimme a four-iron, and haul out a bathing suit for the ball."

First-round leader Hale Irwin tamed about everything else but 18. The Congressional killer knocked some sense into him.

"(It was) the turning point in my round," he said. "There was a quartering wind to the right when I got there (having begun his round on the back nine).

"I thought: 'This hole finally is going to play easy.' "



"Good iron (from the left rough), good chip, good putt (from eight feet)," he sighed, "and I'm still lookin' at 5."

Lookin' back, lookin' ahead, Irwin again realized that Kemper might be wonderful in insurance but offers no comfort even for the most prodigious pros.

Even thinking anything comes easy at Congressional ranks high among the no-nos in life, along with tugging on Superman's cape and missing Hill Street Blues.

The ol' meanie of a course was kinder the first time through this year than last, with almost five times as many sub-par rounds. All this means is that maybe only four of its holes will be ranked among the 100 toughest on tour instead of a half dozen.

Last year, the second the PGA kept such stats, Congressional had three holes (Nos. 18, 14 and 4) among the toughest 25 and three others (Nos. 13, 16 and 3) among the humbling hundred.

In 1983, the second hole also cracked the top 100. Only Riviera had as many holes in the top 25 last year; Cypress Point had the most diabolical hole, the infamous par-3 No. 16, and another in the first 10.

And if the crybaby pros had not talked Congressional's leaders out of ripping the spine out of the sixth and 10th holes, the club surely would have had half its course among the anthology of tour horror, a hit-'em-and-weep.

For the two major tournaments Congressional has hosted -- the 1964 U.S. Open and the 1976 PGA -- as well as the early Kempers here, Nos. 6 and 10 played to fearsome par 4s. They now are drip-dry 5s, so tame that players can knock second shots into the water and still make par.

Truth be known, the 18th is mean only four days out of the year. The tee area for the Kemper goes unused during regular club play, although brave members surely sneak back a time or four.

Yesterday, that following wind caused 18 to yield more than a dozen birdies. Still, there was as much head hanging as happiness.

Scott Hoch watched from the fairway with sweet anticipation as the ball left his club, only to see it veer left on the green and trickle into the drink.

He made double bogey.

Lindsey needed a bravely struck four-wood just to reach the front fringe. But he was lucky, his tee ball having been headed in the general direction of the CBS eye on a trailer deep in the woods before colliding with a tree.

Without that helpful accident, Lindsey might have hit double figures.

He made bogey.

Of the other holes on the tour's top 25 can't-hit list, the 14th rolls along like a 439-yard tongue, with sand eager to gobble anything a wee bit left and trees helping build a hillside jail on the right.

The fourth seems a rather benign 420 yards, except the dogleg snaps right about as sharply as Pennsylvania Avenue does off 15th Street.

Also, from the tee, a few pines can be seen swaying in the breeze, with a Mae West attitude that coaxes shots to come visit.

Many do.

Perhaps because the 18th can be so lethal, Kemper winners Craig Stadler (twice), John Mahaffey and Greg Norman all but lapped the field before arriving there the final round.

"The second shot is a guessing game," Stadler said. "If you miss the fairway, it's a (par) 4 1/2. I made 4 today. It played easier."

Careful what you say, Craig. That bunker to the right of the green has a remarkable resemblance to an ear.