Two years ago, after he had won the U.S. Open, Pavin led the points list and had a 4-1 record during the U.S. loss at Oak Hill. Now he says that if he doesn't play his way onto the team, Tom Kite should make someone else a captain's pick. "I don't want to be a pick," Pavin says. "My goal is for us to send the best team we can to Valderrama, even if it means me not being on it."
The way Pavin's playing, he won't be. His 72.31 scoring average is more than two strokes higher than in '95. Putting has been the problem. In '95 Pavin was ranked 21st in that category; this year he's 99th. He has missed three cuts in eight starts and has earned just $57,060 (105th on the money list). At the same point in the season in '95, on the way to a $1.34 million year, Pavin had earned $487,989.
Still, he remains cautiously optimistic. "I didn't have a lot of confidence this week," Pavin said on Sunday. "I'm trying to hang in there and recapture that good feeling."
It's Time for Ford to Call It Quits, Finally
When Masters officials decided to extend lifetime invitations to tournament champions, they assumed that at an appropriate time, past winners would have the grace to say no thanks. Gene Sarazen did. So did Byron Nelson and Sam Snead. Doug Ford has not. Ford, the 1957 Masters winner, has shown up every year since, which was certainly reasonable for a while. But over the last 25 years he has failed to make a cut, and he has broken 80 only twice in the '90s.
Last week Ford, 74, broke fresh ground, finishing last, three shots behind Arnold Palmer, with a 179 that included a second-round 94. That's the second-highest score in tournament history, a stroke behind the 95 that Charles Kunkle Jr., an amateur, shot in the final round in 1956. In 36 holes Ford hit two greens in regulation, averaged 208 yards off the tee and made 11 pars, 16 bogeys, eight doubles, one triple and no birdies.
By participating in this year's event, Ford set the record for most Masters (45). Presumably, this was his goal, but the spectacle of a man bogeying his way around the course is not what Bobby Jones had in mind when he started the Masters. Thanks for the good memories, Doug. Now it's time to say good night.
CBS Was Confronted with Lots of Time, Little Drama
Sunday was a long, hard day for CBS. An hour before its coverage of the Masters began, the network aired Tiger Woods: Son, Hero, Champion. To its discredit, the network had purchased this cloying, self-serving saga of the phenom from International Management Group, which represents Woods. All too often the show revealed what it was, a commercial for Woods and the companies he endorses.
CBS got lucky because it was able to focus its Masters coverage on the son, hero and champion himself—Woods could have missed the cut. The bad news was that the size of his lead eliminated most of the usual final-round drama, reducing the commentators to repeatedly telling us that "it's more than Tiger's swing, it's his mind, his heart," and that "no one has led a major championship by this much since Old Tom Morris in 1862." That's when they weren't making references to the "patrons," which is what one of the green jackets must have told the CBS crew to call the people outside the ropes, rather than fans or spectators. Anyone forgetting that might find himself playing cards with Gary McCord next April.