BOLD FOR 12
Arnold Palmer, as readers of this magazine know, doesn't play a course—he assaults it. "Why hit a conservative shot?" the Sportsman of the Year asks. Why indeed?
Last week in the first round of the Los Angeles Open, Palmer hit enough bold shots to last him the rest of the winter tour. On the 18th hole, a 508-yard par 5, he tried to reach the green in 2. He hit a good tee shot, but on his approach he pushed a three-wood out of bounds into the practice fairway. He took a penalty stroke and tried again. The next shot went in almost the same spot.
"It is possible," Palmer reasoned later, "that I overcorrected on the third one." Palmer knocked that ball clear out of the course and onto a highway on the opposite side of the fairway. The fourth shot landed close to the third. Palmer finally made the green in 10, each of the out-of-bounds balls having cost him two strokes. He then two-putted.
When the erratic few minutes were over, Palmer, who finished 26th in the same tournament last year, seemed the least perturbed man around. "It was a nice round figure, that 12," he said, a perfect pupil of his own go-for-broke philosophy.
THE WORLD AND 1/50TH CHAMP
A fellow who doesn't know all there is to know about fractions had better not try to figure out the middleweight boxing picture. It was bad enough when Paul Pender was champ in New York and Massachusetts and Gene Fullmer was champ in the other 48 states. Now the chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission has announced that Sugar Ray Robinson is the champion of the world in Nevada.
The chairman, Dr. Joseph C. Elia, was one of many who thought the Robinson-Fullmer draw in Los Angeles should have been called a win for Sugar Ray. He suggested that the NBA investigate, and termed the decision "awful." The other day he sent a letter to the members of the Nevada commission announcing his decision that Robby reigns, since he should have been awarded the championship fight. So, for the record:
Fullmer is champion of the world plus 47/50ths of the United States.
Pender is champion of the world plus 2/50ths (or�5th) of the United States.