Alas, Beman's 78 on Friday put him two shots on the downhill side of the 36-hole cut, leaving him disgusted. Why, he was positively Stadlerish. When asked if, despite not making the cut, he didn't consider the comeback a pretty fair achievement, Beman looked up with disdain and said, "I never consider missing the cut an achievement."
He wasn't the only one who was unhappy. There was grousing from all quarters, it seemed. Trevino (who finished 21 shots back), Floyd (12) and Ballesteros (8) complained that Turnberry had been "Americanized" with watered fairways and overly treacherous rough.
Tom Watson (16 back, or 28 shots worse than the last time he was here, as the Open winner in 1977) planned to write an official letter of complaint to the R & A about the narrowness of the fairways.
O'Grady (18 back) registered an official complaint, saying the paint used to color the holes white had hardened so that the ball was bouncing out of the cup. We're not making this up.
The players, as a whole, complained about everything from the width of the fairways to the height of the rough to, presumably, the depth of the ocean, all without much satisfaction. It wore on one player. "The people you hear doing so much complaining," said Nicklaus, "are the ones with the highest scores." Nicklaus left Turnberry 18 over and quiet. Only Gary Koch (tied for sixth) and Fuzzy Zoeller (tied for eighth) represented the Stars and Stripes in the top 10.
The rough became such a conversation piece because the players were up to their keisters in it so often, what with a sturdy cross wind and those tight fairways. Some fairways were no more than 20 paces across; one, the 9th, so narrow that on Thursday only 10 players hit it.
Forty-five-mile-per-hour winds that day and a drizzle had the curious meteorological effect of forming little snowmen—8s—on scorecards everywhere. Floyd had one on the par-4 14th, and it went like this: Drive, lost ball, drive again into rough, wedge into more rough, three-wood into semi rough, pitch onto green, two putts. Sound like anyone you know?
"The best players in the world are out there getting humiliated," said Norman. Bernhard Langer agreed: "These are the worst conditions I've ever played in." Only wee Ian Woosnam of Wales, 5'4" and 11 stone (154 pounds), was smiling. His round of 70, even par, led the first day by 1. Wind can only get so low.
Norman called his opening 74 "a 64" in such blustering, which made you wonder what he thought his 63 the next day, in less wind, but wind nonetheless, was worth—a 53? It gave him a two-shot lead over Britain's Brand. Five back was Tommy Nakajima of Japan, trying to become the first Oriental to win a major. When hellacious wind and rain returned on Saturday, Nakajima cut Norman's lead to 1 with a 71, a typically good day in the rain for the bespectacled Nakajima. When Nakajima was a boy, his father trained him to play in wet weather by having him hit practice balls while standing under an outdoor shower.
All of which brought Nakajima and Norman together on the 1st tee for the final round, with dread on Norman's face and a country on Nakajima's shoulders. The sun had come out for this, shining brightly and making it the warmest day of the week. Both players safely found the fairway, but then Nakajima did a funny thing. He broke first, missing with his approach and then three-putting from five feet for a double bogey. That gave Norman a three-shot bulge. In the Land of the Rising Sun millions of hearts broke, and Nakajima, who finished with a 77, would be crying by day's end. It was the crucial hole of the day—Norman would never let his lead shrink to fewer than three strokes—and it was already over.