DeFrancesco shoots 69, makes the cut


POTOMAC -- Wayne DeFrancesco knew he needed the eight-foot par putt on his final hole. It was likely the difference between playing and not playing the Kemper Open on the weekend.

Starting the day 2-over par on the 7,005-yard TPC-Avenel layout, the Woodholme CC teaching professional reached the ninth hole (his 18th) 2-under par for the round.

His tee shot on the treacherous par-3 ninth, where the pin was at the back of the green, landed in the left rough, about 40 feet from the hole.

"It was a delicate pitch from a tight lie, and stopped eight feet below the hole," he said. "At least it was an uphill putt and straight in." He let out a "Yeah," and pumped his fist as the ball disappeared into the cup.

The closing par enabled him to finish with 69 and a 36-hole total of 142. More than five hours later, that was enough to make the cut. He actually had a stroke to spare -- although not apparent at the time -- when the afternoon scores were not as good.

Of the 73 players advancing, 43 of them played in the morning.

DeFrancesco's round included four birdies and two bogeys. Three of the birdie putts were from inside 12 feet, with the other a 30-footer from the fringe at No. 5. He bogeyed the first and eighth holes, the latter after pushing a 5-iron shot into the right green-side bunker.

* Fred Funk started the day at 1-under par, got to 2-under after five holes, then gave both back with bogeys on two of the next three holes.

He played even, if not consistent, on the back nine. A double bogey at 12 left him 1-over, but he battled back with birdies at the 13th and 15th, then three-putted the 16th.

"Three bad drives cost me four shots," he said after patiently wading through a crowd of interviewers, autograph seekers and friends.

* Among others with area ties who made the cut, Frederick native Donnie Hammond birdied the last hole for 72-143, and Middle Atlantic PGA champion Bruce Lehnhard three-putted his last hole for 75-143.

After DeFrancesco's 69, Webb Heintzelman had the next best round, a 1-under 70. "My only disappointment is not to play on the weekend," said the Cabin John resident.

"I'd been having trouble setting the putter on the line. Wade [his brother] noticed it when I four-putted a green in the first round. I was lining up two or three inches off the hole, then making a good stroke."

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