Calvin Peete, who shot 69 in Wednesday's pro-am event, withdrew before the first round of the Kemper Open tournament at Congressional Country Club yesterday because of an injury to his left knee.

Peete, who is fourth on the PGA Tour's money list and its scoring leader, was the second big-name player to withdraw. Leading money-winner Andy Bean withdrew Wednesday because of a back injury.

Peete appeared on the practice tee yesterday morning in preparation for his 8:26 starting time but shortly afterward announced he was in too much pain to play and departed for his Fort Myers (Fla.) home.

"It's my left knee," Peete told PGA officials. "I was hoping it would be all right when I came here, even though it did bother me last week at the Memorial Tournament . I went out and started to hit some balls this morning, but it really hurt. There isn't any way I can play.

"I'm not scheduled to play next week, so I'll just rest it. I'm really sorry I won't be playing. I was really looking forward to playing Congressional."

Peete became the seventh player to be scratched from the Kemper field. Ken Green and Larry Ziegler withdrew yesterday, and Evan Schiller was unable to make his tee time. Clarence Rose and Jim Thorpe withdrew earlier.

"I can't worry about it," said Ben Brundred, the tournament's chairman. "I used to. But I can't worry about the weather and I can't worry about player injuries."

Davis Love, the longest hitter on tour, shot 74 yesterday with a new set of irons that the Ping company made especially for him in Phoenix Wednesday and had flown here.

Love had his $600 set of stiff-shaft custom irons stolen Tuesday night from Congressional's locker room. "It the 74 was not because of the clubs," Love said yesterday. "I didn't chip well."

Leonard Thompson, who shot 68 yesterday, said he and several other PGA Tour members played the nearby Tournament Players Club at Avenel course Wednesday. The course will be the home of the Kemper Open starting next year.

He said most of the players liked the course, and rejected the notion that the "stadium" courses the tour is constructing (12 are either finished or under construction) are all the same.

"There is not a sameness about the TPC courses at all," Thompson said. "This Avenel is much different from the course in Jacksonville the TPC at Sawgrass ."

Donnie Hammond, formerly of Frederick, missed consecutive three-foot putts and ended up four-putting the 17th hole (his eighth) for double bogey. But he said friends in the gallery kept him from getting too discouraged after the lapse, and, after his front-nine 38, he rebounded with 33 for 71.

Woody FitzHugh, last season's Middle Atlantic PGA player of the year, shot 73. FitzHugh, plagued by a shoulder injury this year, hit two bunkers on his final hole but salvaged par.

Montgomery Village head pro Pete Malphrus eagled the par-5 10th hole with a drive, 2-iron and eight-foot putt, but struggled to 78.

Woodmont's Gary Marlowe eagled the sixth hole, but took triple bogey on the 14th and shot 75.

Scores for other area players: amateur Marty West, Columbia, 76; Fred Funk, University of Maryland, 77; David Jimenez, Wintergreen, 82; Coleman Plecker, Manor, 83; amateur Brian Lehnhard, Lake of the Woods, 84; Denny Dennis, Congressional 87.