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The Shag Bag
April 06, 1998
Giving Tiger Pause: Gary Player relishes the thought of a Tiger Woods-Ernie Els rivalry that could last for decades. "Tiger's full swing is more impressive, but Ernie is far better from 100 yards in. His wedges, bunker shots, putting and chipping are all better" says Player, whose nine major titles are six more than Woods and Els's combined total. "And perhaps there's another difference: Tiger will live under enormous pressure as a celebrity in America. Ernie's life might be easier."
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April 06, 1998

The Shag Bag

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Giving Tiger Pause: Gary Player relishes the thought of a Tiger Woods- Ernie Els rivalry that could last for decades. "Tiger's full swing is more impressive, but Ernie is far better from 100 yards in. His wedges, bunker shots, putting and chipping are all better" says Player, whose nine major titles are six more than Woods and Els's combined total. "And perhaps there's another difference: Tiger will live under enormous pressure as a celebrity in America. Ernie's life might be easier."

Golf Outing: The game still isn't an Olympic sport, but it will be part of the Gay Games in 2002.

When Harry Met Reality: Harry Toscano's $9 million antitrust suit against the Senior tour hit a speed bump last week. Toscano, who claims there is a conspiracy to keep little-known players like him off the tour, wants bigger fields and a 36-hole cut at Senior events, but a federal judge in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., denied his request for an injunction, allowing the tour to keep Arnold Palmer and Chi Chi Rodriguez playing on Sunday even if they're nowhere near the lead. Chalk one up for the nostalgia-first theory of Senior golf.

No-Go Golf: According to Frank Nobilo (left), slow play at the Players was due to the pros' skill: "Nobody wants to see scores of 62 and 63, so they make courses tougher and tougher. The byproduct—a round takes time. You can't go quicker or you'll make mistakes."

How It Hangs: Take 2� yards of a green 55%-45% blend of polyester and wool. Add a rayon lining, brass buttons emblazoned ANGC and a golfer's name hand-stitched inside. What you get is a single-breasted blazer made by Hamilton Tailoring of Cincinnati. Every Masters winner takes such a jacket home but must return it to Augusta National a year later. There the jackets are stored in cedar closets with those of club members. Each Masters Sunday a gofer grabs one of the members' jackets for the ceremony at Butler Cabin. Often it doesn't fit—the sleeves of Jack Nicklaus's ceremonial jacket in 1963 covered his hands—but soon the new champ's measurements are morphed into a permanent addition to the Augusta collection.

One for the Ages: At last month's Legends of Golf, Paul Runyan, 89, lamented his game. "I'm a proud man. I like to think I'm the best 89-year-old golfer in the world," said Runyan, who won two PGA Championships. "I didn't play like it here. I just got in people's way." Runyan frets that he can no longer play quickly enough to keep up with Senior players who are 20 or 25 years younger, "but it's hard to quit when the game is in your blood. I never got past eighth grade, but I've seen the world. I've met kings, paupers, gamblers and Capone mobsters. I've lived well, and golf was the reason."

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