Greg Norman had to withdraw from last week's U.S. Open because of a hand injury (page 14), but he did make his Wednesday practice round memorable for one spectator. In the rough near the 14th green of The Country Club's main course, Norman hit a wedge shot 20 feet from the pin. Someone from the gallery said, "That shot wasn't so hard," to which Norman replied, "Come out here, expert."
The expert turned out to be Bruce Charles, 37, a six handicapper from West Peabody, Mass. He took the wedge and put a ball five feet from the pin. Norman gave Charles a high five and the ball as a souvenir.
UP AGAINST WALL
In a story on the U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Trials in our May 30 issue, Alexander Wolff wrote that an employee of the U.S. Olympic Committee ( USOC) had found it "appalling" that Bill Wall, executive director of the Amateur Basketball Association of the U.S.A., had severely restricted the presence of the media at the trials. Wolff also quoted North Carolina coach Dean Smith, a member of the ABAUSA games committee, as saying, "I was shocked when I was told the media wouldn't be allowed."
In a recent interview with Volney Meece of the Daily Oklahoman, Wall said of Smith's quote—which SI stands by—"I haven't talked to Dean, but let's put it this way: That's not a Dean Smith quote. Some of the things in that [article] didn't happen that way." As for the unattributed "appalling" quote, Wall said, "If I find out who said that, he will be fired.... I'm a member of the executive committee [board] of the U.S. Olympic Committee. I have [sent] a memo to [ USOC] president [Robert] Helmick and [ USOC executive director] Baaron Pittenger that if I find that SOB, he's dead."
It's frightening to think that this man represents U.S. amateur basketball to the world.
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Reggie Williams, who was named one of SI's eight 1987 Sportsmen and Sportswomen of the Year for the help he has given to the hearing impaired, will be sworn in this week as a member of the Cincinnati City Council. Williams was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Arn Bortz, who resigned. Said Bortz of Williams, "He's a natural leader and will be an excellent council member." The Bengals also gave their blessing, even though the team and the council both meet on Wednesday afternoons.
Williams, a Dartmouth graduate who was the NFL Man of the Year in 1986, doesn't think he will have any difficulty with the dual role. "When I'm on the football field, football will be my priority," said the 12-year veteran. "When I'm in City Hall, council will be my priority."