"It's too big," said Shirley later, referring to the course. The match had been played from the men's tees, and the distance was 6,427 yards. "It's too, too big. I played well, but I wanted to jump the ball all the time, power it out there with Billy. You can't do it. I don't think any woman can. I hit with any of the girls on our tour, but today I was 30, 40, 45 yards back all the time. I had to go to a three-wood to reach the greens, while Billy was up there with a six-iron. And this was short for a men's course. If it was a tournament, they would have stretched it out to 7,100 or 7,200 yards."
Asked if women golfers could ever compete with men, Miss Englehorn said, "I could compete, but whether I'd ever win any money is a question. If I was in top shape and at the peak of my game, maybe the best I could play here would be 72 or 73."
Nonetheless, Miss Englehorn still would like to see women in men's tournaments. "It would be great," she beamed. "Maybe there could be a women's section and a men's section. Or mixed, perhaps, with a foursome of women, then three foursomes of men and then another foursome of women. We'd play for our purses and they'd play for theirs."
Casper seemed to like the idea. "Anything that stimulates golf, I'm for," he said, "and I think women in our tournaments would stimulate the game." But he also agreed with Shirley's lament that men's courses were too long for women. "On a big course, the kind we play week after week, the driver is 50% of your success, and a woman can't handle that club the way a man can."
What would have happened, Casper was asked, if Miss Englehorn somehow had defeated him. Billy smiled. "We'd have both set golf back 50 years," he said.
BOYCOTT BY BOBBY
Twelve high-ranking chess players who in December met in New York to determine the American chess championship played without Bobby Fischer, who had previously beaten them all. Fischer won the championship for the first time in 1957, when he was a 14-year-old high school sophomore, and thereafter won it seven times—every tournament he entered—including one unprecedented performance when he won every game. He boycotted the tournament on the grounds that it was too short: an 11-round round robin does not give adequate time for recovery to a strong player who happens to get off to a bad start. The U.S. championship is the shortest of any major country; the standard in Russia—"and in all countries where chess is taken seriously," Fischer says—is 22 rounds.
Fischer scarcely needed another U.S. championship to demonstrate that he is still one of the world's strongest chess players. Unfortunately, the U.S. championship was also the zonal tournament that determined which American players would go on to the interzonal tournaments in the first step toward the world championship. By giving up his chance to win the U.S. championship again (the veteran Sammy Reshevsky won the somewhat empty title in Bobby's absence), Fischer also gave up his chance to meet Boris Spassky for the world title. His next opportunity to try for it will not come until 1975.
Bill Fitch of the University of Minnesota is a basketball coach without a home, and in this case it does not mean he has no home arena for his team to play in. In fact, Fitch is living in his office in Williams Arena, where the Gophers play. The trouble is the Fitch family. The coach came home from an unhappy road trip in mid-December (two losses in overtime in three days) to find that one of his daughters had come down with chicken pox. Fitch had never had the disease, could not afford a two-week quarantine absence from his team and fled to his office, where he sat out the two weeks. "About the only company I had at night was a rat that came out of the wall and said hello," grumbled Fitch.