The battle of California ended last week in a peaceful settlement between the Bing Crosby golf tournament and the PGA. Earlier, the PGA had upset the Crosby people by shifting the tournament dates from the traditional mid-January period to mid-February, where the new dates fell spang on the Washington's Birthday weekend, already a big business time for Monterey Peninsula merchants, restaurateurs and hotel operators. Not only would the area be unable to handle the influx of visitors to the Crosby then, it would lose the big January business the tournament always attracted.
The PGA remained adamant for a while but when it became obvious that the Crosby would be canceled if the mid-February dates stood, it rustled around and came up with a solution. The Glen Campbell- Los Angeles Open, traditionally the first of the golf-tour year, was willing to swap dates; a new city storm drain is being built through Riviera Country Club, site of the tournament, and officials decided they could use the extra month to be sure everything is finished. So now the Crosby will have the honor of kicking off the tour the first week of January, the well-drained Campbell-L.A. will be in mid-February and the tourists will have Monterey and Carmel to themselves on George Washington's Birthday.
TWICE THE FUN
The PGA has problems beyond Pebble Beach and George Washington. Disagreeing with Joe Dey's proposal to reduce the tour to 15 super events (SCORECARD, Aug. 13), Bill Clarke, president of the PGA, thinks it should get bigger. He notes that since 1959 pro football, pro basketball and pro hockey have expanded from one league to two, and pro baseball has added teams and split its two leagues into four divisions—while all that time tournament golf has stood still. Clarke wants a second PGA tour.
"At first," he says, "the new tour ought to be a qualifying ground for players who would eventually move up to the major tour. But at the same time it would become an attraction in itself, with young stars like Ben Crenshaw coming along. There are so many good players that in time the second tour would become as strong as the one we have now. Then, instead of having a major tour and a satellite tour, we would have two major golf circuits."
And a real World Series of Golf?
OR A PILLAR OF SALT
Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick of the Miami Dolphins have written a book (co-authored by Dave Anderson of The New York Times) called Always on the Run, in which Kiick complains about having to share playing time last season with Mercury Morris. Kiick says Coach Don Shula took away his primary running back status for disciplinary reasons: he did not finish a 12-minute endurance run (Kiick says he had the flu and "couldn't breathe").
" Shula is the one who stuck it to me," Kiick says in the book, which emphasizes that the authors do not resent Morris. But Kiick does say that rotating with Morris "was a difficult situation for me to accept." And Csonka says, "Jim shouldn't have been subjected to somebody taking his position. The way I saw it, Shula handed Merc the opportunity at Jim's expense, not only handed Merc the opportunity but stepped on Jim's pride with no qualms. Step on Shula's pride and see how he reacts."