QUESTIONS WITH PAUL POPEHis job: There are electronic scoreboards all over Kingsmill touting the leaders of the tournament, and there's that huge hand-operated scoreboard on 18 that shows the dozen or so leaders' rounds. But if you're a spectator and want to see how every golfer played the 16th hole or how a particular golfer did during her entire round, there's only one place to go: Paul Pope's hand-written board between the first and 10th tees.
How did you get started doing these boards?
"I was a club pro for 15 years. Back in 1982, I was an assistant pro and the head pro asked me to start doing it for a friend, and it just evolved. This year, because of the economy, I'm probably going to do 12 (tournaments) nationally. I've done Nationwide Tour events, PGA events, this tournament since it started, and Champions tournaments."
Have you ever figured out how many numbers you write in a weekend?
"I'll write probably, oh, 17,000 numbers this week. I'll go through probably 14 markers, 15 markers. I'm out there 15 hours a day."
Your boards, like others, are done in fine calligraphy. How did you learn?
"When I started doing the boards, I started teaching myself how to do lettering, so I taught myself."
What do the fans say when they read your boards?
"It's kind of self-gratifying when somebody comes up and says 'nice scoreboard.' I've been criticized because some people say they can't read it, but the compliments outweigh the others."
FOUR INTERESTING NOTES ENTERING THE FIRST ROUNDAVERAGE SCORES GET HIGHER. Through the first six LPGA tournaments, the golfers averaged 72.5 shots in the first round. The average jumps to 72.7 on Friday, 72.9 on Saturday and 73.1 on Sunday.
PAYCHECKS. Cristie Kerr (above) has picked up the biggest checks in the previous six tournaments. She's won money in all six, been in the top 10 the last four years and won in 2005. Her total take: $623,610. Contrast that to Jane Geddes and Suzy Green-Roebuck, who tied for 75th in 2003, their only appearances here. Each earned $2,960.
LOWEST/HIGHEST ROUNDS. Kim Williams, Sarah Lee, Jee Young Lee, Mhaira McKay and Shi Hyun Ahn share the course record with 63. The highest of the previous 2,611 rounds? An 89 shot by amateur Sarah Turcotte last year.
SUCCESSFUL. Cristie Kerr, Lorena Ochoa, Juli Inkster, Natalie Gulbis and Angela Stanford are 6-for-6 in making cuts at Kingsmill. On the other end, there are 100 golfers who have played here at least once, but haven't made any cuts. That includes Michelle Ellis and Kelli Kuehne, who have missed all six.