IT WAS WILLIE IN '93
Your English golf contributor, Henry Longhurst, is not correct in Invaders from below the Equator (SI, July 13). He states: "At 23, Gary Player...is the youngest player to win the British title since it became a 72-hole event." The facts are that after 1891 the British Open Championship was extended to 72 holes and in 1893 the winner was Willie Auchterlonie, then aged 21.
My authority is Willie Auchterlonie himself, aged 87 years on August 5, 1959.
He is still hale and hearty, and lives with his son Laurie Auchterlonie in St. Andrews, where I see him regularly.
LIEUT. COLONEL W. H. PIKE
St. Andrews, Scotland
POLO: SACROSANCT 17
It would seem to me that your normally very accurate reporters came a bit unstuck in Pumping Plasma into Polo (SI, Aug. 10).
According to your text, there are "only 17 polo players in the U.S. who can be considered of championship caliber. It is significant that not one of them is from Long Island or, more specifically, Meadow Brook."
Polo players are rated on their averages, with a 10-goal player being classed in the same category as a .400 hitter in baseball. There are, however, four nine-goal players active in the game today, one of whom is Alan Corey Jr. And where does Corey come from? Meadow Brook.
Would you not consider one of the four top polo players in the U.S. worthy of championship caliber? If you don't, this is like saying that Yogi Berra is not considered a big league ballplayer.
Another whom I feel belongs very definitely in your sacrosanct 17 is Pete Bostwick. Bostwick is now down to seven goals in the ratings, primarily because he may not be as young as he was yesterday, but I dare say he still is a better player than virtually any of those pictured in your pages, with the possible exception of Harold Barry. And where does Bostwick do his poloing? At Meadow Brook.
The national 20-goal tournament (which, with the National Open, ranks as the World Series of polo) was played last year and this year on Long Island. Who won it in 1958? Meadow Brook.
Who won it in 1959? The Firestone team from Dallas, with Meadow Brook in the runner-up spot.