Traffic streamed into the Tournament Players Club at Avenel with little difficulty yesterday, following a horrendous day of driving to the course on Friday.
Beleaguered motorists and fans reported commutes to the course of up to three hours on Friday, with Beltway backups deep into Montgomery County and Virginia. The traffic snarl was caused by three main factors: a larger-than-anticpated crowd, cars funneling into one-lane traffic on Oaklyn Drive near the course, and the fact that the two main public parking lots were quagmires and closed.
Yesterday, those problems were solved with drying conditions and gravel to make the parking lots operable, and converting Oaklyn Drive into a one-way, two-lane flow near the course.
"Today was perfect," said Chuck Marcus, a traffic patrol officer with the Montgomery County police. "There was no problem at all. No matter which way you came in, you got a slight delay -- 10 or 15 minutes. But other than that, no problem. There's plenty of parking and shuttle buses.
Tournament Chairman Ben Brundred estimated 25,000 to 30,000 fans showed up Friday. He said concession revenues were $66,000 on Friday, compared to $44,000 in concession business done on the same day at Congressional last year. He estimated yesterday's crowd at 35,000 to 40,000.
The eight-man local contingent playing in the Kemper Open all missed the 36-hole cut.
Middle Atlantic PGA Champion Larry Ringer just missed making the cut of 2-over-par 144. Ringer, resuming his second round yesterday morning, finished with bogey 5 on his final hole, the par-4 18th, and missed with 72-73-145.
Other Washington area players: Woody FitzHugh of Great Falls 72-74-146; Webb Heintzelman, Montgomery Village 71-79-150; Gary Marlowe, Woodmont 71-83-154; amateur Marty West, Columbia Country Club, 75-81-156; Denny Dennis, Congressional 78-79-157; Glenn Brown, Westwood 79-85-164; and Bob Bowes, Wicomico, 85-42-withdrew.
Donnie Hammond, formerly of Frederick, shot 74 in yesterday's third round and stands at 217 after 54 holes.
Bobby Wadkins of Richmond, in good shape after opening rounds of 71 and 68, was forced to withdraw in mid-round yesterday with a blister on his hand. He struggled for eight holes, shooting them in six over par before deciding not to continue.
"He had a callous and blister on his hand and it ruptured on him," said Dr. Wilfred Dudley in the locker room. "He had to quit."
Tim Simpson was scheduled to complete the final hole of his second round yesterday morning, but he did not show up and was disqualified. If Simpson, who had an opening-round 70, had appeared and birdied his 36th hole, the par-3 ninth, he would have made the cut.
Club pro Ed Dougherty, who regularly opens the shop at his home course in Linwood, Pa., shot 69 yesterday and is at 5-under-par 208. Dougherty, 39, has played the tour on and off since 1975 and is a collector of Lionel trains. He said yesterday, "If anyone has any trains, get a hold of me out here."