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John Montgomery and Bud Erickson decided that I created something of a minor problem for Sunday's final round. They had quite an athletic event on their hands, what with Donna Caponi holding a one-stroke lead over Janie Blalock, who had a sweet personality and a fine, fine game, and Sandra Palmer, an old friend of mine, as it happened, from Texas, who had yet to win her first tournament. And bunched together right behind them were all of the other top lady pros: Sandra Haynie, who had just won three in a row, Marlene Hagge, Jo Ann Prentice, Kathy Whit-worth, Peggy Wilson, Pam Barnett, Margie Masters, Judy Rankin and Carol Mann.
Not only were the girls going out there on Sunday and battling it out for what was a big payday for them, they were going to have to play threesomes: two lady pros with one celeb of sorts. For example, Montgomery and Erickson (and Sealy) thought it would be nifty for national television if there was a Glen Campbell or Joe Namath in every group of girls. And no writers.
"Let's face it," Bud Erickson told me. "You're not much of a TV attraction."
Just blurt it out, Bud, I said. No need to doll it up.
"How about 7:37 a.m. with Mary Lou Daniel and Jan Ferraris?"
I said I thought I'd be off the tables by then. Fine.
Part of the offering Sunday, to keep the men stimulated, was a competition for a huge chunk of Steuben shaped into the form of a trophy, The Heart of Variety Cup, they called it. A man took his handicap and used it, and took the best holes he could get from his two lady pros, and all of that counted as his score, best ball.
Inasmuch as I was a dew sweeper that Sunday, Mary Lou and Jan and I got around rather swiftly. In fact, we finished at 11 o'clock just as Donna Caponi, Janie Blalock and Glen Campbell were teeing off. Mary Lou and Jan had been excellent companions and pretty impressive shotmakers, I must admit.
Maybe I particularly liked the two of them because I beat them with a light-running 75. From memory. In any case, our combined scores gave me eight-under for the round, and I was the leader in the clubhouse.
"Hey," John Montgomery said. "You're the leader in the clubhouse."