POTOMAC - Pete Cleaves is getting a rough introduction in his first year as general chairman of the Kemper Insurance Open. After 31 straight days without rain, the last week has been one storm after another, producing one headache after another.
Rain early in the week made for wet conditions through the first round, the second round was interrupted for 2 hours, 40 minutes, and 33 players waited out a six-hour delay yesterday before completing the second round. The third round wasn't started. The cut was made at 1-under 141, and 65 players are scheduled for the final 36 holes today.
"Of course, that will depend on when we can start," Cleaves said. "Right now, we're planning on starting at 7 a.m. in threesomes."
Individual tickets from yesterday will be honored today, and parking at the Marriott complex on Democracy Boulevard is recommended. Two other sites in that area give a total of 8,000 spaces, with shuttles to and from the golf course.
TPC-Avenel has some 77 acres of parking, mostly open fields, and Cleaves said about 50 tons of gravel had been put down to make some of the muddy, swampy areas passable. Course superintendent Scott Kreger normally has a complement of about 30 workers, but that is boosted to perhaps 50 during tournament week. When there is inclement weather, that number jumps to 75-80.
Needless to say, they put in many long hours of hard labor to produce playable conditions. "If I ever get through this week, I'm going to buy a TV without the Weather Channel," Cleaves said, finally able to laugh a little.
Funk makes cut
Former University of Maryland golf coach Fred Funk, who won everything around here before going out on tour, parred the last three holes yesterday to complete a round of 2-under-par 69, and a 36-hole total of 140.
"This was another solid round, and the putting was a little better than Thursday," he said. "And it's nice to make a cut here." This is his ninth cut in 16 Kemper starts since 1982, but only his third since 1994.
Jordan shows nerves
Pete Jordan, who is No. 170 on the money list with $70,000 in 15 events, had to wait overnight and through the delay to play one hole, the 18th. He hit the green in regulation and two-putted for par to finish 1-under, with a chance to play the final 36.
"Krafty [Greg Kraft, who got in at 141 on Friday] told me what I needed, and then we waited on the tee before we started," Jordan said. "I was nervous on the tee shot, feeling as though somebody was trying to ice me, and backed away from the iron shot before I finally hit it to the middle of the green. I knocked the putt down to about two feet, but when I stood over it, my hands were literally shaking.
"That's never happened before in the eight years I've been out here. I don't know why. ... I just kind of stubbed it and it went in."
Dirk Schultz, the head pro at Beaver Creek CC in Hagerstown who is in the Kemper as Middle Atlantic PGA Player of the Year, started at the 14th yesterday - and promptly eagled the 301-yard hole. He bogeyed No. 16, and parred in for 75-73-148.
A bonus was his position as No. 1 in driving distance for the first two rounds at 305.5 yards.