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July 27, 1964
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July 27, 1964


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The provocative plan offered by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy on page 12 is directed at improving United States performances in the Olympics. It is a big program—the scale on which America typically does things—and is certain to stir new discussions and appraisals of our athletic status.

The Kennedy plan calls for an increasing degree of Government and private-industry participation in athletics. It is a blueprint for reinforcing our international image.

We are in sympathy with much of what the Attorney General proposes. But we do have misgivings—for instance about the flexing of our athletic muscles as an adjunct to foreign policy to impress other nations. We would be reluctant to endorse Government direction of sport to the extent Mr. Kennedy recommends.


Until last week no one had ever heard of Yates Adams outside of a few people who bought dental supplies around High Point, N.C. Now he has an army just like Arnie, Jack, Tony and Chi Chi. Adams' Army was born and fully mobilized during the Amateur Public Links golf championship in Minneapolis where the 6-foot-7 young man gawked, scrambled, fought and talked his way to the semifinals with a golf swing that most observers identified with a ferris wheel and a set of nine clubs that looked as if they had been stolen from an antique case at St. Andrews.

On his way to the semifinals Yates Adams assembled an army by swinging like a discus thrower and driving 280 yards; by creeping up to his putts and tapping them in without taking a stance; by defeating Defending Champion Bob Lunn 1 up ("Nobody told me he was the defending champion," said Adams); by explaining that he was so poor he had to buy golf balls one at a time; and by using clubs with loose shafts and worn grips that made a clinking sound when he swung. "I don't worry about pressure," said Adams at one point. "I worry about my clubs."

By reaching the semifinals Yates Adams automatically qualified for a sectional round of the more sedate U.S. Amateur Championship in Cleveland in September. "I've never seen anything like him," said P. J. Boatwright Jr., assistant director of the USGA. "If he appears at Canterbury," said another USGA official, half joking, "golf may be set back 50 years."

Said Yates Adams, "If I can raise the money, I'll be there." So will his army.


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