Thus ended the first Pacific Masters and thus began—maybe—a new era. The Taiheiyo Club, which had spent more than $1 million on prizes, preparation of the course and transport, care and feeding of players, was happy. So were about 27,000 Japanese fans who had paid 130 million yen ($433,000) to see the tournament. Taiheiyo saw the deficit as well worthwhile to publicize and establish its local and overseas leisure expansion plans and to bring Japan into the forefront of international golf.
The tournament did one more thing by providing the format from which a genuine international Japanese superstar could emerge. His name is Masashi Ozaki, and he is called Jumbo, not only because he is big and strong and hits the ball like Jack Nicklaus but because he is a superlative golfer from tee to green. "Jumbo can play anywhere—he and Nicklaus would be a hell of a match," Trevino said before leaving. How good is Ozaki really? Well, good enough to beat everybody in the tournament except Brewer, Graham and Charlie Coody.
Unless the Komiyama family, which controls the Heiwa Sogo Bank and its many subsidiaries, has an enormous change of heart, the Pacific Masters is here to stay. After all, they can hardly disappoint the honorary chairman. Prince Takamatsu, can they? Will the foreign players return? Trevino, who finished 12th, told all Japan by radio and on TV that he would come back "to show you why I'm supposed to be one of the world's best players." And as for Gay Brewer, you better believe it.
Is it possible then for the Taiheiyo Masters to become an annual event with the stature of the U.S. Masters? Don't bet against it. Remember Nikon and Sony and Toyota—and perhaps even Wankel, which powers Mazda in Japan and is moving in and up, and giving Detroit new headaches.
Watch out, Augusta.