From up on the TV tower, where the Hughes Network people were rehearsing, Bob Toski was giggling. "Where'd you learn that?" he called down. "In a subway?"
Our gallery consisted primarily of one: Walter (Yippy) Rankin, Judy's husband, a golf widower, a big, good-natured guy who sells insurance when he's not applying body English for his wife's putts.
Somewhere on the incoming nine, Yippy Rankin made the mistake of telling us, "You know, you-all are 15-under and that's leading. I think you can win it today."
The ninth hole at The Desert Inn course (which would be our last) is an unprintable annoyance as far as I'm concerned. You have two choices off the tee on this par-4. You can drive it into a pond on the left or out of bounds into some homes on the right.
Knowing we had it all wrapped up, then, Judy Rankin promptly hit her drive into the pond, and I promptly hit mine out of bounds. None of this seemed to bother Bill from Tampa, however. He just stepped up and split the fairway with a boomer. Nine-iron to the green.
"I'll handle it, baby," he said.
When we reached Bill from Tampa's tee shot, we could see the scoreboard and absorb the fact that our team was leading. I reminded our partner that he had a stroke on the hole, on top of everything else, so there was no point in being brave. Just a little flip up there to the big, safe part of the green and two putts would give us 16-under, more than we needed. That'll be a sweet $500 for Judy Rankin and some Steuben for the good guys.
"Don't worry, I'll put her right up there, baby," said Bill from Tampa.
Who cold-bladed it out of bounds, and we finished tied for second.
Saturday's round was fairly uneventful, except for the fact that I was paired with some of the best set decoration on the new ladies' tour. She was Donna's sister, Janet Caponi, who wears hot pants and helps make the LPGA look a lot different from the way I remembered it. Donna had taken the lead in the Sealy Classic itself, and we spent a lot of time asking for reports on her round. It was hot and windy, and the round passed as slowly as you might guess it would for somebody who had now been in Las Vegas for five days, which is the equivalent of 17 years. I was sadly over- Don Rickles-d, over- Bill Cosby-d, over-Juliet Prowse-d, over-dinner-and-late-show-d, over-black jack-d and soundly asleep on each and every backswing.