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JULIE BAGS A BUNDLE
Curry Kirkpatrick
August 26, 1968
They came down to the end, like wolves at each others' throats again, and everybody just knew that old Julie would be right there. When the big money is out on the table Julius Boros is always right there. Last week, in Harrison, N.Y., a pleasant little community of, oh, maybe 5,000 trillionaires, Julius Boros, his sore back aching and three of his seven children at his side, lobbed one out of the sand and then ran in a 12-foot putt to nudge Jack Nicklaus, Dan Sikes and Bob Murphy by one shot and win $50,000 and the richest golf tournament alive, the Westchester Classic.
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August 26, 1968

Julie Bags A Bundle

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UP, UP AND AWAY GO THE GOLFERS' EARNINGS, WITH NO END IN SIGHT
Five years ago the tour had its first $100,000 money winners, Palmer and Nicklaus. Last year seven players earned that much, and this year there may be twice that number. Palmer, who led in '58 and '63, ranks 12th this year with just $76,927.

1958

Arnold Palmer

$42,607

Billy Casper

41,323

Ken Venturi

36,267

Dow Finsterwald

35,393

Art Wall

29.841

Julius Boros

29,817

Tommy Bolt

26,940

Jay Hebert

26,384

Bob Rosburg

25,170

Doug Ford

21,874

1963

Arnold Palmer

$130,835

Jack Nicklaus

102,903

Julius Boros

84,524

Tony Lcma

69,670

Gary Player

60,220

Dow Finsterwald

54,574

Mason Rudolph

46,629

Billy Casper

38,358

Al Geiberger

38,005

Bobby Nichols

37,179

1968 (through August 18)

Billy Casper

$146,685

Julius Boros

144,357

Tom Weiskopf

143,721

Jack Nicklaus

140,904

George Archer

105,274

Lee Trevino

100,616

Dan Sikes

98,255

Miller Barber

91,913

Dave Stockton

88,436

Frank Beard

88,005

They came down to the end, like wolves at each others' throats again, and everybody just knew that old Julie would be right there. When the big money is out on the table Julius Boros is always right there. Last week, in Harrison, N.Y., a pleasant little community of, oh, maybe 5,000 trillionaires, Julius Boros, his sore back aching and three of his seven children at his side, lobbed one out of the sand and then ran in a 12-foot putt to nudge Jack Nicklaus, Dan Sikes and Bob Murphy by one shot and win $50,000 and the richest golf tournament alive, the Westchester Classic.

Boros' victory was not achieved amid classic conditions. The latest flare-up between the PGA and the touring pros broke out even before the tournament started. And all week one rumor and then another would float up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Jack Tuthill, the tournament director in the field, would be fired on the spot. The players who didn't sign a promise to stay in the PGA would be arrested, handcuffed and carried off the first tee. Things like that. The rumors originated at the PGA headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., worked their way north through Washington and finally into Harrison, where everybody said to hell with it and let's just go out and win some money.

Up until Boros' dramatic finish, the tournament had belonged to Murphy, a red-haired rookie who was aiming for his first victory since leaving the amateur ranks last August. Murphy's the guy who looks like Nicklaus, the galleries always say at the start of a tournament. Just like him. That face. Rolls and rolls of tummy. Walks dumpy. Hits it a mile. That's him over there. See? Looks just like Jack. Then Murphy pulls out a cigar, jams it in his mouth and goes bogey, bogey, bogey to finish 40th. He doesn't look like Jack anymore.

In Harrison, however, Murphy abandoned his cigar and began to play like Jack as well as look like him. His 64 in the opening round led Dan Sikes by one shot, and he increased his lead a stroke each day until, playing magnificent golf under the most extreme pressures imaginable—$50,000 worth of pressure—he finally faltered. On the par-5 72nd hole he chose to play his second shot short just before Boros struck his birdie putt. Murphy chipped close, but his putt for the tie missed. Even so Bob Murphy really looked exactly like Jack Nicklaus: they were tied for second place.

Boros defeated what was probably the finest field that has graced a PGA tournament all year long. Certainly the talent at Westchester was more plentiful, through and through, than that at some of the more celebrated, though less lucrative, events: the Masters, which is basically an invitational affair and sometimes chooses name and station over golfing ability to balance its field; the Open, which anybody with a hot day of qualifying rounds can get into; or the PGA, where club pros from all over annually seem to have nothing more than a hot dog, beer, and miss-the-cut reunion. Indeed, only a few foreign players (including Gary Player) among all the professional golfers you have heard of were not at Westchester. The reason, in cold, hard fact, was cold, hard cash.

It is altogether proper, however that the richest tournament of them all is held at graceful, stately, loaded old Westchester. Founded in the early '20s, at a time when World War I had created a spate of new affluence and spectacularly rich men, Westchester was advanced shamelessly by New York society patrons as a magnificent playground of the wealthy. Original members could boast of more than 600 acres of lush grounds with a polo field, riding stables, clay and grass tennis courts and three golf courses ringed with a bridle path. Westchester had a beach club and casino nearby, "the largest privately owned swimming pool in the world" and, in the center of all of this, a towering eight-story hotel of brick and white stucco and castle-on-the-Rhine elegance; from its 400 rooms visiting maharajahs could gaze out on the boats sailing on Long Island Sound.

Bill Tilden played tennis there and Johnny Weissmuller swam there and Babe Ruth drank there and the Guests and the Whitneys poloed there and all the Wall Street guys would step into the brokerage office inside the clubhouse after a quick 18 and decide whether they should buy or sell or go out and hit a few off the practice tee. It was a time of Pierce-Arrows and "Bojangles" Robinson and terrapin races at the ball and Makin' Whoopee. And it was a time of a 21-year-old cocksure Gene Sarazen defeating British Open winner Walter Hagen for the "world's championship" at Westchester and winning the largest purse in the history of golf, $3,000.

Perhaps, then, Eastern Airlines and the other "grand patrons" of the Westchester Classic, who started their tournament last year with a $250,000 purse and a $50,000 first prize, possessed a fine sense of history as well as of funds.

When the Thunderbird was taken away from Westchester in 1965, after the New Jersey Ford dealers high-handed the New York dealers and drove the Thunderbird right back to Montclair, where it had started, Bill Jennings, the chairman of the tournament and the president of the New York Rangers hockey club, found himself without a golf event. Quickly he gathered forces and, with the help of Eastern and several wealthy banks, liquor companies and publications, came up with enough money two years later to present another golf event, this one the "richest in the world." (It was also, not too incidentally, richer by far than the Thunderbird.) Despite rain that washed away the second round on three consecutive days, the first Westchester Classic raised $293,000 for charity. The tournament now is the PGA's showcase money event and a symbol of how the economics of golf have staggered the imagination even of the game's most ardent followers.

Only a few reminders are necessary to understand how much golf money has changed and increased over the years.

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