Elder proves exemption worthy with 63 Rookie hits 17 greens and ties course record; Kemper notebook


POTOMAC -- Brad Elder, who needed a sponsor's exemption to get into the Kemper Open, showed he belonged yesterday as he tied Avenel's course record with an 8-under-par 63.

After shooting even par in the first round, Elder -- who was taking final exams at the University of Texas less than a month ago -- hit 17 of 18 greens en route to a bogey-free round.

"I putted very well today. I hit the ball well, probably as best as I could," said Elder, the 1997 College Player of the Year. "The one green I missed, I was on the fringe, on my first hole today [No. 10] and I hit every green from there on out."

Elder eagled the 13th hole and birdied 15, 16 and 17.

"It was a fun day at the course. Everything went my way," he said. "I had no thought of ever shooting a 63. That's my best score ever and I'm just thrilled to death. But, there's a lot of golf left and some great players here."

Back with a vengeance

Brian Kamm, who lost his tour card last year and finished eighth on the Nike Tour's money list, found his "A" game yesterday. A Rochester, N.Y., native, he recorded three eagles, including a hole-in-one on No. 17, en route to a 66 that put him in the hunt at 7-under.

Kamm's three-eagle round was the first on the PGA Tour since John Adams pulled it off at the 1995 Buick Challenge. His first eagle of the day came on the 520-yard, par-5 sixth hole. There, Kamm hit a 5-iron approach to nine feet and made the putt.

Kamm's second eagle came at No. 13, a 524-yard par-5 hole. This time, Kamm hit the green with a 6-iron approach and made a 30-footer.

His shot on No. 17 couldn't have been any better either. Kamm aced the hole with a 5-iron from 202 yards.

"When you're playing golf on the tour, you're not looking at the ultimate goal as the hole-in-one, you're looking at the ultimate goal as winning the golf tournament," said Kamm, who last won in 1992 at Ben Hogan Panama City Beach Classic. "Yes, that was nice to do. But right away, you've got to get back to focus."

Learning experience

Adam Decker, an assistant pro at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, missed the even-par cut after matching his opening round of 76, but insisted he enjoyed his first pro tournament.

"You can't beat playing with these guys and seeing what their games are like," he said. "It's just a little polish around the greens where they make their numbers."

Cut above

Tommy Armour, Woody Austin and Brett Quigley, three of seven alternates in the field, all made the cut at 5-under.

Not as fortunate: John Daly, who four-putted the ninth green and finished with 72-74-146, Tom Kite (71-76-147) and Chip Beck, who missed the cut for the 37th straight time (two-day total 149).

Pub Date: 6/06/98

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