Dick Severino is more places at once than Arthur Crawley-Boevey or Coco Dupont. I say Dick Severino is a spy who uses his note pad, his camera and Golf World as cover. Besides, he lives in Beirut.
Severino is a busy man who wears the golf cap of the tournament he is covering. He has an armband and a personal card that says "Golf Correspondent." He has a camera around his neck and a clipboard. He is athletic looking and fast talking.
"Great city, Beirut," he says. "I can go either way there. I can whip down to Alexandria or over to New Delhi. The Six-Day War? I played golf every day." Severino knows everybody on the European tour, or any other tour. He knows Hugh Baiocchi of South Africa and Baldovino Dass� of Italy. He knows Philippe Toussaint of Belgium and Manuel Ballesteros of Spain. He knows Simon Hobday of Rhodesia and Mohammed Said Moussa of Egypt. He knows Vicente Fernandez of Argentina and Guy Wolstenholme of Australia. He not only knows them, he can talk to them.
"Watch this kid Dass�," says Dick Severino.
I have finally found L'Open de France. It is at a club called La Nivelle, and it is not a golf tournament. It is a garden party.
La Nivelle is a miniature golf club of 5,758 yards, par 69. It is surrounded by miniature whitewashed villas with red-tile roofs. A street named Massy borders the course. It is named after Arnaud Massy, who came from Biarritz and won the first French Open, and who, in fact, remains the only Continental ever to win the British Open. A few people are standing around eating sandwiches. Golfers are trudging up the 18th fairway pulling carts. Two elderly ladies are sitting on a bench. A soldier is asleep under a tree. Fred Corcoran is looking for a photographer.
"The prime minister is here," says Fred.
"Good," I answer. "Maybe he can tell us where the French Open is."
Wait a minute. Here comes an American off the 18th. It has to be an American because his sweater is new. It looks like Barry Jaeckel, out of L.A. Not a bad young player. What's he doing here? If he weren't pulling his own cart and drinking a Pepsi, I'd swear it was Barry Jaeckel.
"What are you doing here?" he asks.