THE WRONG ONE
As far as hole-in-one lore is concerned, nothing can top the four aces within two hours at the U.S. Open last Friday morning (page 20), but Rick Syme, a Macon, Ga., package-store owner, did something nearly as amazing two weeks ago at Macon's Oak Haven Golf and Country Club. Syme was teeing off on the par-4, 328-yard 17th, which has a dogleg right. Because he's a long hitter, Syme decided to use a three-wood to cut the corner over the trees. He faded the ball, all right, but the wind took it much farther to the right than he had intended. Syme yelled, "Fore!" and Jim Grigsby, who was putting on the 16th green, looked up for the ball.
"I could hear it coming through the trees," said Grigsby, who was playing with his son, Ben. "I just froze. We had the flagstick out because we were putting. The ball landed about six to eight feet from the hole and rolled in."
Syme recovered nicely. After assessing himself a two-stroke penalty and taking a drop off the 16th green, he put his next shot on the 17th green and one-putted for a bogey 5.
Syme undoubtedly would have preferred an ace, but at least he has a great story to tell future playing partners. "I hit it from the tee to the green, and it went in the hole," says Syme. "It's not my fault that it was the wrong hole."
HOOPS, ITALIAN STYLE
While the Detroit Pistons were sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA title last week (page 28), the winner of Italy's basketball championship was also being determined. The scudetto, or "championship shield," was contested, though, in a court rather than on one. The Italian finals had pitted Philips Milano, led by former NBA players Albert King and Bob McAdoo, against EniChem Livorno, whose star is former Syracuse standout Wendell Alexis. In the fifth and deciding game, played on May 28 in Livorno, the home team was trailing 86-85 when guard Andrea Forti scored on a lay up at the buzzer to give Livorno its first championship—or so Livorno and its gleeful fans thought. Unfortunately for them, officials ruled that Forti's basket had come after the buzzer. The officials waited a full 20 minutes, however, until after the crowd had calmed down, before informing Livorno. The delay created even more confusion since a national television audience had already been informed that Livorno had won the game 87-86.
The Livornese did not take the decision lying down. They took their case to the Corte Federale ("Federal Court") of basketball and argued that the game should be replayed because a foul assessed to King had not been entered in the books, and he had been allowed to play after what should have been his fifth and final foul. Milano countered that the mistake was a technical error and thus did not warrant playing the game again.
The judicial panel met for two hours before rendering its decision. Two weeks after the final buzzer sounded, a newspaper headline in La Gazzetta dello Sport declared DEFINITIVO: LO SCUDETTO A MILANO.
MAHORN OF A DILEMMA