Murray will probably not be asked back, and good riddance. Who needs a guy who draws huge crowds and who, in the words of his pro partner, Scott Simpson, "signed a thousand autographs this week and shook a thousand hands"?
Fun wasn't much to come by either for an angular 20 handicapper with a backswing you could fit into a chimney flu—George Bush. The former president and his former vice-president, Dan Quayle, became the first White House battery to ever play the tournament. Bush was perfectly brutal. He missed the cut by six shots and was so exhausted from having to endure six-hour rounds that his caddie began carrying a shooting stick for him. Afterward Bush announced, "I'm coming back with one proviso: I don't have to play golf."
Most of the Family (Shot) Values came from famous golfing families. Not only the Nicklauses but also the Floyds (Raymond played with his 19-year-old son, Ray Jr., while his 18-year-old son, Robert, teamed with Dudley Hart to win the pro-am), the Faxons (touring pro Brad and his father, Brad Sr.) and the Pavins (pro Corey and brother Fletcher). When it came to togetherness, though, none of these clans could compare with the Stocktons of California. Senior tour star Dave Stockton paired with his son Ron, while his other son, Dave, a PGA Tour rookie, was also entered. Plus Ron's caddie was a familiar face—his mother, Cathy. Now, Ronald, how many times have I told yon to replace your divots?
What's weird is that the fun meter looked as if it might bust a spring there for a while when Lemmon and his pro partner. Peter Jacobsen, sold the soles of their sand wedges to the devil and shot a 10-under 62 to nearly lead the pro-am competition after the first round. This is the same Jack Lemmon who had never made the cut in 21 tries. "This is the year!" yelped Jacobsen that night on the practice range.
The next day, after he and Lemmon had struggled to a 71, leaving them 10 shots off the pace, Jacobsen said, "Now is when the pressure starts!"
The third day, after he and Lemmon had missed the pro-am cut. Jacobsen said. "Next year. Definitely next year."
But for Watson and Miller the talk was all this year, this chance. With the wind whipping balls and swings on Sunday, the field started falling backward. By the 16th hole Watson led Miller by a shot when Watson suddenly started playing in the Ipecac Open, with throw-up three putts on not only the 16th (three putts from 15 feet) but also the 17th (two from three feet). All Miller had done was stay erect, and he had himself a gift-wrapped, one-shot lead.
Watson had one last chance, with an eight-foot birdie putt on 18 that would have tied Miller. He left it one roll short. "Coming down the stretch." said Miller, "I was thinking, Oh, geez, Tom Watson, he always beats me down the stretch. He's usually so tough with the putter, but today he putted like a guy, well, our age." Miller merely had to par 17 and 18 to win, and that's exactly what he did.
For Watson you had the feeling that having tried and lost again was almost as bad as not having tried at all. As much as nobody wants to hear it, it's true: The yips are back. Boy, the yips are back. "I lived by the putter earlier in my career," a downcast Watson said. "I died by it today."
With the victory still only moments old, Miller wasn't even sure it existed. "This is not happening," he said. "This is a time warp. I do not play more than 25 rounds of golf a year. I do not practice. I'm Joe Announcer. I guess it shows you, if you're in the right place at the right time, magic can happen."