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Though his official golf earnings for the year come to $64,445, and side money probably brings the total close to $75,000, Tony Lema confessed the other day, en route to Tokyo, that he is as broke as the day he went on tour. "But," he added, "I'm free."
He is free of a contract with Jim Malarkey, wealthy Oregon and Idaho sportsman, one that gave Malarkey nearly a third of Lema's earnings, both purses and perquisites. The contract was one of a series that started in 1958 after Malarkey had seen Lema play and concluded he had the stuff of greatness in him. In the ensuing years, Malarkey says, he backed Lema to the extent of as much as $21,000 a year, never less than $16,000, and saw no substantial returns until the end of 1962, when Lema suddenly began to justify Malarkey's early vision.
"It was a great thing for me," Lema conceded, "knowing that I had his backing." But he implied, too, that there comes a time when a fellow wonders whether he is playing for himself or for someone else.
"I'm starting out again broke. I've played all year for nothing," he said, implying that to buy up his contract, he had had to pay Malarkey all but a trifle of his winnings. He won't be broke long. He is off to Tokyo for a television match, Shell's Wonderful World of Golf, against Chen Ching-Po. On his return he will play in the $125,000 Whitemarsh Open in Philadelphia and the $70,000 Sahara Invitational in Las Vegas.
With Labor Day gone, it is not too soon for the prudent to start a Christmas shopping list. Right at the top should go a doodad turned out by the Ampex Corporation. It is a television tape-recording system for the home, and you can buy it from Neiman-Marcus in Dallas for $30,000. Not too extravagant, when you consider that in the past Neiman-Marcus' catalogue of choice gifts has offered a stuffed tiger for $1 million, a His-and-Hers set of airplanes, and a genuine Chinese junk. Of them all, though, we would take the Ampex TV tape-recording system, known as the Signature V.
Here are some of the things you can do with it. You can leave home after setting a timing mechanism that will automatically record a prizefight, baseball game or whatever while you are away. On your return you can play it back. You can watch one football game live while taping another, a must for New Year's Day.
There is more to the Signature V: a color TV receiver, record changer, AM-FM tuner and a leatherbound instruction manual. If the V has one weakness, it is in videotaping color TV, which comes out black and white on the tape. Ampex is working on that problem right now.
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