Defending champion Stuart Appleby finally got a chance to see what he could do at TPC at Avenel under calm conditions, and the 28-year-old Australian did not disappoint.

After a second round of 5-under-par 66 -- in which he hit 16 of 18 greens and 11 of 14 fairways -- Appleby stands at 2 under in the Kemper Open, seven shots behind leader Rich Beem.

After winning last year's tournament in a gusty final round and playing Thursday's opening round in a swirling wind, the breezes calmed yesterday and Appleby responded with crisp iron play that put him consistently near the hole, helping him to a bogey-free round. "The course was just a little easier," Appleby said. "The wind wasn't up yet and the greens were rolling true. It was an enjoyable round."

"I enjoy playing a morning round after an afternoon round because you don't think too much. You just go to dinner, go to sleep and get ready to play. That was an advantage today."

Franco Disqualified

Golfer Carlos Franco of Paraguay, winner of the Compaq Classic of New Orleans earlier this month and currently 14th on the tour's season money list, was disqualified Thursday when he failed to appear for his first-round tee time. PGA Tour officials have been attempting to locate Franco, but have not been able to make contact.

"We started wondering if he would show when we realized he had not made a hotel reservation," tournament chairman Ben Brundred said. "But he doesn't have an agent to contact. The agents usually handle that type of stuff."

"The first step is to find him," a tour spokesman said. "The next step could be disciplinary action."

Locals

Annapolis native Mark Carnevale fired a 5-under 66 yesterday to get to 1 under for the tournament, one of three players with Washington area ties to make the cut. Donnie Hammond, who was born in Frederick, Md., had a 71 yesterday for a 1-over 143, while former University of Maryland golf coach Fred Funk had a second straight 72 to stand at 2 over. St. Albans graduate Olin Browne, who picked up his second career victory last week, was a casualty of the cut, which was 3-over 145.

Other local scores included Michael Muehr (who lives in Georgetown), 7-over 149; Dirk Schultz (Hagerstown, Md.), 8-over 150; Curley Bishop (New Market, Md.), 10-over 152; Rick Schuller (Centreville), 19-over 161; and Ron D. Cooke (Gainesville), 24-over 166.

Gone Home

Among those that failed to make the cut: former Kemper winners Tom Kite, Andy Bean and Billy Andrade; Paul Azinger and John Daly.

Today's Round

Schedule

Third round

Tee times begin at 8:34 a.m.

TV: WUSA-9, WJZ-13,

4 p.m.

Gates open at 7 a.m.

Parking

Parking in the fields surrounding TPC at Avenel in Potomac is on a first-comefirst-served basis.

Kemper officials encourage spectators to make use of the free shuttle bus that operates from the Marriott corporate headquarters parking garage on Fernwood Road and Democracy Blvd. in Bethesda.

The shuttle, which runs every 15 minutes, is available today and Sunday from 8 a.m. until one hour after the final round finishes. There is free parking at the Marriott.