The Kemper Open's purse will be significantly increased from this year's $2.5 million, tournament chairman Ben Brundred said yesterday.
The amount of the increase will be announced during a news conference today, Brundred said.
The event's purse this year is $500,000 more than it was in 1998 and $1 million more than it was two years ago. The winner's share today will be $450,000, compared to $270,000 in 1997.
"It is unbelievable to think that . . . when we were at Congressional [Country Club from 1980 to 1986], the total purse was not even what the winner will get by himself," Brundred said.
Brundred announced two changes to this year's event yesterday because of the heat, which reached 89 degrees in mid-afternoon.
Alcoholic beverages usually are served until an hour before the completion of a day's play, but sales today will end at 4 p.m. In addition, mist tents have been set up for spectators seeking to cool off.
Yesterday had other unusual turns for Brundred. The day after his 74th birthday and the day before his 13-year run as tournament chairman will end, he was given a ticket for not wearing a seat belt while he drove to TPC at Avenel.
"I just turned off Falls Road and onto Oaklyn Drive and saw a policeman on motorcycle on the corner," Brundred said. "I waved. He waved back. And 100 yards down the road he pulled me over. That's the first ticket I've gotten in 20 years. I usually wear it, but it's just a mile from my house to the course. I was pretty surprised, but he was just doing his job."
As a gift to Brundred for his 20 years of service with the Kemper Open, the PGA Tour has given him and his wife, Carroll, an all-expenses-paid trip to London.
Justin Leonard, the 1997 Kemper champion, rebounded from a second-round 75 to shoot a 5-under-par 66 yesterday.
The 26-year-old hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation during a bogey-free round. He is 3 under par for the tournament, six shots behind co-leaders Rich Beem and Tommy Armour III. Leonard went from a tie for 50th to a tie for 11th.
"Playing early without much wind, it was definitely the time to shoot a good score," Leonard said. "I felt like I could pick up a couple [birdies] more in the back side, but it was nice to come back from [Friday's] round."
Leonard was in a similar position two years ago, when he rallied from five shots behind twice that season, winning the Kemper and British opens.
"I have won a couple from five back," Leonard said. "But I guarantee you I've lost a lot more."
Hammond's Back Nine
Donnie Hammond, a Frederick, Md., native, shot a tournament-best 29 on the back nine. Hammond birdied Nos. 10, 11, 13, 14, 15 and 16 to take his score from 4 over par to 2 under and into a tie for 19th place.
Annapolis native Mark Carnevale did not have as much luck on the back nine. He bogeyed 15 and 18 to finish at 1 over for the tournament.
"I just played terrible," said Carnevale, who made his first cut this weekend in his three PGA Tour events this year. He took six weeks off to recover from tendinitis in his shoulder. "I've just been really inconsistent and the only thing I can do for that is play more."
On the Air
Irreverent CBS golf announcer David Feherty told a few reporters following the lead group that he was picking up Dulles air-traffic control through his headset.
"Give us your height and position," Feherty said he heard from the control tower. To which he responded aloud, "I'm 5 foot 11 and in the middle of the eighth fairway."