On Saturday the arrivals of Duval and Woods incite confrontations as traveling galleries encroach on fans ensconced at 17 since early morning. One guy is escorted out by the police to a chorus of "Na, na! Na, na, na, na! Hey, hey, hey, goodbye." Two other fans—one of them wearing a hat that says BETTY FORD CLINIC on the front and OUTPATIENT on the back—share a redneck picnic (a cardboard box filled with ice and Bud). As Craig Stadler plays his third shot from the drop area, Tiger, who's standing on the strip of land leading to the island, turns to the fans and pushes down with his arms, the universal signal for shut the hell up.
The loudest cheers come after the best shots—birdies by Tom Lehman on a long chip and by Perks on a 40-foot putt, giving him a share of the lead. The gallery also stirs when 28-year-old Jason Press, an information technician from Manhattan, proposes to his girlfriend, 26-year-old Stacy Schectman, a New York City merchandiser, between Jos� Mar�a Olaz�bal's par putt and Bernhard Langer's tee shot. Press does it by turning to Schectman and unfurling a three-by-four-foot poster of the 17th green that has STACY MARRY ME LOVE JASON written on it. "There's, like, 15 of us who fly in from all over the country for the tournament, and we always sit here at 17," says a still-trembling Schectman. (She accepted on the spot.)
Sunday brings a totally different kind of crowd. Sure, there's a group of guys who've achieved a certain synergy—instead of dollars they're betting chugs of beer—and a flock of "Go in the hole!" birds has nested around the tee, but overall the word for the day is more. More people with more chairs and more beach towels. There's more of a set-up-camp-and-stay-put attitude. In general these folks are better-looking, better-dressed and better golf fans. This is more of a sip than a swig crowd, and in anticipation of another tense finish, the focus is more on the little white orb.
That brings us back to Rock and Friday afternoon. A few hours after the Katayama incident, Frank Nobilo, Brett Quigley and Grant Waite reach the 17th green. Nobilo, buried at 11 over, walks off after a routine par when Rock and the boys start in. "Way to go, Frank. Nice job." Appearing more surprised than anything, Nobilo looks up and flips his ball right to Tim.
Tim hands the ball to Rock, who clearly is trying to decide whether he should be disappointed that he's no longer the only one with something for show-and-tell. At last he gives the ball back. "Oh, Frank Nobilo, a Pro VI with two dots on it," he says. "I've got Katayama's (push) ball (push) in my (push) pocket, and that's huge."