While visitors tore into a large ham on a drainboard in the kitchen and collapsed on the carpet in the living room, MacPhail turned auctioneer. The top players were sold individually. But packages were also available—a dozen Dudley Wysongs say, with a Terry Dill thrown in, and for only $3.80. A couple of the crew, being somewhat less than golf-wise, were not immediately willing to accept the fact that people named Cobie Legrange and Ed Tutwiler actually existed. MacPhail was his own most active bidder, barely edging out Dolph, and later on they had the foggy recollection that they had managed to buy almost everyone, including, they feared, Randolph Scott.
Thursday, the day of the first round, was important to CBS for several reasons. There was a complete dress rehearsal, "full fax," they call it, which in television means complete dress rehearsal. MacPhail and Dolph had to go to the airport to pick up an assortment of brass, including John Reynolds, then the president of CBS-TV, Jack Schneider and a sales vice-president named Ted O'Connell. The brass had to be taken to the club and impressed by the fact that the veranda was teeming with hosts of corporate celebrities.
This was also the day Frank Chirkinian held a massive production meeting to remind everyone that they weren't getting ready to do Supermarket Sweep come Saturday. He had not especially liked the rehearsal.
"Mechanically everything worked fine, including the jaws of the commentators," said Chirkinian. "Cut your talk in half."
The crew of commentators included Jack Whitaker on the 18th green, Jack Drees and Byron Nelson on the 17th, Henry Longhurst, the British writer, on the 16th, John Derr on the 15th and Cary Middlecoff in a far-off basement room of the clubhouse. Down there Middlecoff's job was to deliver expertise while staring at diagrams of holes, stop-action, or the tournament itself on a contraption called the TNT Eidophor, a special projection device that provides a screen within the live screen and can be clearly explained only by the Swiss scientist who invented it.
When Chirkinian had ended what he called his "harpoon-the-commentators meeting," he asked if there were other problems that anyone would care to bring up.
"No, I don't think so," said Whitaker. "I think now that my morale has been thoroughly destroyed I'll leave. If you'll excuse me, I'm taking Dr. Zhivago's calls tonight."
Jack Dolph said he did not want to frighten the crew unnecessarily, but he had received word that the Scotch tape, rubber bands and paper clips had not arrived.
"You jest," said Chirkinian.
"I jest not," said Dolph. "You ready? They were shipped to Nevada."