Kemper Open 2002 - Glimpses of a (near) beginning, an ending, and a continuance

A Photo Essay by Jeff Janas. Text and captions by Jeffrey A. Rendall

POTOMAC, MD -- It didn't rain this year, unless you're talking about applause emanating from above as Bob Estes lifted his final putt from the cup on the eighteenth hole, collecting his fourth PGA Tour victory after outlasting challenges from past Kemper Insurance Open Champion Rich Beem ('99) and would be first-time winner Bob Burns.

This year's tournament featured a (near) "beginning," in the sense it once again offered a sterling opportunity for a first-time winner to break through (Bob Burns); an "ending" because it was the final tournament in a distinguished broadcaster's career (Ken Venturi); and a "continuance" because it continued one of the hottest players on tour's march through the season (Bob Estes).

While the 2002 Kemper Open didn't attract many of golf's biggest names, it hardly lacked star-power or drama. And with the Michelob Championship ceasing to be after this year's October tournament, the Kemper Insurance Open will become the Washington area's lone regular PGA tour event. One could only hope next year will bring a similar dose of excitement to golf fans of the region.

Here's a sampling of the sights at this year's DC area event:

In addition to sporting his always-beautiful swing, British Open runner-up Steve Elkington wore some colorful royal-blue pants at this year's Kemper.

Justin Leonard takes a moment to relax and reflect on the sixth tee during Sunday's final round.

Duffy Waldorf's known for gracing leader boards and his distinctive golf attire. He didn't disappoint fans on either point at the Kemper Open.

Shark sightings were frequent at the 2002 event, as Greg Norman led going into the weekend and hung around long enough to be seen by the large Sunday galleries.

Even before his victory in the PGA Championship, Rich Beem seemed to draw a crowd of reporters. By now, he's getting used to it.

Bob Estes demonstrates the perfect balance and form that led to victory. Here he hits a short-iron shot into the par five second hole.

With the final putt dropping, the work's all done and only the trophy and winner's check awaits -- and the awards ceremony, interviews and thousands of cheering fans to witness.


The Kemper Insurance Open
May 30 -- June 2, 2002
TPC Avenel
Potomac, Maryland

2002 Winner: Bob Estes, with a score of 273

Winner's Purse: $648,000

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