Tom Weiskopf has always viewed things differently from many of his peers—he once chose to go on a hunting trip rather than play in the Ryder Cup—so maybe we shouldn't be surprised that he has begged off the CBS telecast of the Masters. Weiskopf, who first appeared on the show in '81, will attend to some of his golf course design commitments instead. "I would love to be at Augusta, but this is my priority," Weiskopf says. "It was a tough decision, but they'll live without me."
During Masters week Weiskopf is to meet with a group of developers from the Philippines in Scottsdale, Ariz., drop in on a new project in Prescott, Ariz., go to San Francisco to oversee the construction of six new holes at the Olympic Club, and visit a new course he is building in Tahoe. Next week Weiskopf will play in the PGA Seniors.
"Tommy left for greener pastures, if you follow the metaphor," says CBS executive producer Frank Chirkinian. "The way he sounded, it was for a lot of money. What am I going to say except, 'O.K., pal, we're going to miss you.' "
He will be missed more by viewers. The always candid Weiskopf was one of two CBS announcers at Augusta who could be counted on to provide critical, and credible, analysis. Since the Masters was the only event he worked, Weiskopf called 'em as he saw 'em and never worried about whom he might offend.
Weiskopf will be replaced at 13 by Ken Venturi, CBS's other straight shooter. It was Venturi who made the call when Curtis Strange, in the lead, played the 13th in 1985. When Strange reached his drive in the fairway of the par-5 hole, he first pulled out an iron and was about to lay up on his second shot. Venturi said, "There are two numbers, 4 and 5, that Curtis could factor in by laying up." Then Strange switched to a four-wood. "Now he's just factored in a 6," Venturi said. Strange hit the four-wood into the creek, made bogey 6 and lost the Masters to Bernhard Langer.
"Curtis has been mad at him ever since," says Chirkinian.
The Short Game
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