SI Vault
John Garrity
February 12, 1990
Gale-force winds made the AT&T a rite of passage for young pros who aim to be stars of the 1990s
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February 12, 1990

Sea Of New Faces

Gale-force winds made the AT&T a rite of passage for young pros who aim to be stars of the 1990s

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The gallery laughed, and Tennyson broke up. "It was the funniest thing I ever saw," he said later. "I was about on the ground."

Loose again, Tennyson parred the hole and signed his scorecard in good humor. "Hey, with a day like this you just laugh it off and go on to next week," he said. "It could make you crazy if you took it too seriously."

Schulz can be a kidder too—sometimes. A devout Christian, he credits his improvement to his spiritual peace of mind, and he minimizes the emotional upsets of tournament golf. A typical Schulzism: "Golf is just a series of shots, and you play 'em."

"My demeanor goes in stages depending on how I'm doing," he says. When things were going bad for him during last Friday's round at Spyglass Hill, Schulz was quiet and solemn. He finally reached a breaking point of sorts on the par-3 15th, where he drove within four feet of the hole. On the green he said, "If I don't knock this in, this club is going in the water." When a friend said, "What will you putt with then?" he answered, "My one-iron or my foot."

Schulz made the birdie putt and then birdied 16. His mood improved dramatically after that.

One traditional measure of golfing temperaments, of course, is the 16th at Cypress Point, that much photographed par-3 with the 205-yard carry over a roiling cauldron of pounding waves. Schulz played it on the first day—the same day that Tom Watson made a 6 on the hole and Paul Azinger had an 8. With the wind rising and rain pelting his umbrella, Schulz played the 16th as a par-4, hitting across the chasm to the bailout area on the left. Approaching his ball, he mocked himself by flapping his arms and clucking, but his was the prudent shot, given the conditions. He made a 4.

It was still the prudent shot an hour or so later when Armour got to the 16th, but the crowd-pleasing III never hesitated. He lashed his tee shot over the sea in a stiff wind and drew it back to the green, setting it down some 20 feet below the hole. "I've never laid up there, and hopefully I never will," he said later. "I'll hit a driver there if I have to." Armour's score: 3.

It was Tennyson's misfortune to play the 16th on Saturday, and, judging by his shot selection, he was already crazed by the wind: He took out his driver and went for the green. ("It's not like I was trying to protect the lead," he explained later.) He walloped his ball into the back right bunker, and from there he made a 4. Had he not had a 9 on the next hole, it might have been the highlight of his round.

The upstarts' 54-hole scores looked like numbers from a college invitational. Armour: 76-72-77-225. Schulz: 74-72-79-225. Tennyson: 75-72-83-230. All three missed the cut, and all but Tennyson, who played Sunday because he and his amateur partner made the pro-am cut, were spectators or passengers on outbound planes when Mark O'Meara won the tournament with a seven-under-par score of 67-73-69-72-281. But none of them would say that his time at Pebble Beach had been wasted. "You learn something every time you play here," said Armour. "The older you get, the better you get."

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