GOLF—In an eight-man struggle dominated most of the way by Arnold Palmer, GARY PLAYER charged home with a final round 65 to win the $180,000 Greater Greensboro Open Golf Tournament (page 30).
GYMNASTICS—Michigan edged Iowa State by one-tenth of a point to claim the NCAA gymnastics championship (page 28) in Philadelphia.
HOCKEY—The experts kept saying only a miracle could get the Rangers into the playoffs after their late-season collapse. Going into the final game, New York not only needed a victory coupled with a Montreal loss but had to outscore the Canadiens by five goals. So the Rangers took 65 shots against Detroit, more than in any other game in their history, and eased to a 9-5 victory. Chicago, looking to become the first NHL team to rise from last place to the championship in consecutive seasons, routed Montreal 10-2 (page 96). Suddenly New York was in the playoffs and Montreal had been eliminated for the first time since 1948. In the West, Philadelphia failed to score a goal in its last 144 minutes of play and lost six straight as Minnesota and Oakland surged past it into the Stanley Cup. Final point standings: East—Chicago 99, Boston 99, Detroit 95, New York 92, Montreal 92, Toronto 71. West—St. Louis 86, Pittsburgh 64, Minnesota 60, Oakland 58, Philadelphia 58, Los Angeles 38.
AMATEUR: In Stockholm, the Soviet Union claimed its eighth consecutive world ice-hockey championship with a 3-1 victory over Sweden.
HORSE RACING—In a finish unparalleled at Santa Anita since 1946, four horses battled to the wire with the $125,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap finishing in a dead heat. QUICKEN TREE ($5.40), owned by the Rowan and Whitney stable and ridden by Fernando Alvarez, deadlocked with Howard B. Keck's FIDDLE ISLE ($5), Bill Shoemaker aboard. The horses were clocked in 2:46[2/5] for a distance of about 1� miles.
A 13-to-1 shot, Happy Valley Farm's NATIVE ROYALTY ($28.60), claimed a one-mile test for 3-year-olds by a head in the $58,100 Gotham Stakes (page 93) at Aqueduct.
In another upset, English-owned GAY TRIP overcame 15-to-1 odds and eased to a 20-length victory in the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree, England. Pal Taaffe, at 40 the oldest jockey in the race, was assigned the mount only two weeks ago but breezed over the 30 obstacles while only six of the other 27 starters managed to finish.
TENNIS—Frew McMillan, the local favorite but only the 15th seed at the $49,000 South African Open tennis championships, opened with consecutive upsets of Tom Okker, Mark Cox and Pancho Gonzales but finally succumbed to the driving left hand of ROD LAVER, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in the men's singles finals. Australia's MARGARET COURT topped Billie Jean King for the women's crown.
TRACK & FIELD—The Mills brothers, Curtis and Marvin, made the track sing at the Texas Relays, sparking a world record-tying performance among Texas A&M's three relay victories. Spurred by Marvin's 19.9 leg, an Aggie quartet tied San Jose State's world record of 1:22.1 in the 880-yard relay. The next day Curtis ran a 45.4 anchor as A&M took the mile relay in 3:08.4. The Aggies also set a Texas Relays record in the 440 relay in 40.1, one of seven meet records.
MILEPOSTS—SHIFTED: To Milwaukee, the bankrupt Seattle Pilots' baseball franchise. Going price: $10.8 million. It took approval of a federal bankruptcy judge to bring the sport back to Milwaukee after a four-year absence. Yet, even as 1,000 fans jammed in to purchase season tickets, Seattle attorneys launched an $82.5 million antitrust suit against the American League.