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"I played with him a couple of years ago," said Weiskopf.
Is he long off the tee, a good putter, or what?
"I don't remember," shrugged Weiskopf, who thought a moment longer. "He's a nice guy."
Mr. Nice Guy defeated Weiskopf 4 and 3 in Friday's semifinals, making just two bogeys in 33 holes. "I tried to keep the pressure on, to not give him anything," explained Marsh. "He had the name. I had nothing to lose."
Even Gary Player was impressed.
"I'll tell you, laddie, I never thought you could do it," Player said to him. "For you to beat him after the year he's had is quite remarkable. Because he has had some kind of a year." Besides the British Open, Weiskopf had won the World Series of Golf, four other tournaments and more than $325,000 in prize money. But Marsh's credentials are far from shoddy.
At one time this year he held open championships from five different countries. For the last two years he has led the scoring in the Asian Order of Merit and this year he has collected more than $110,000 while playing in Europe, Asia and way points—the only golfer ever to win so much while disdaining the rich U.S. tour. In fact, Marsh says he never even has visited America, much less eaten a golf-course hot dog, and has no plans for the U.S. circuit, although he would like an invitation to the Masters.
Before the tournament Weiskopf was miffed at drawing Lanny Wadkins as his first-round opponent. He felt that the American attorney, Mark McCormack, might have been manipulating things. McCormack, who had the idea for the Piccadilly and still serves on the tournament's international advisory council, has all of Tony Jacklin, Tommy Aaron and Gary Player, and some of Graham Marsh in the athlete-representation field. It looked to Weiskopf as if someone did not want two non-clients like him and Wadkins in the finals.
"All I'm saying is, if there's eight players, let's draw them out of a hat," he said. "I went to an official and asked him about it and he said they seeded the four major-championship winners and drew the rest." Eventually, Weiskopf calmed down.
As it was, none of the four Americans acquitted themselves well. Tommy Aaron continued in a slump that began just after his Masters victory. Weiskopf sent Wadkins home and was himself an easy mark for Marsh. And Miller was recovering from an ear infection. The British hopes, Tony Jacklin and Peter Oosterhuis, also were disappointing. Oosterhuis has won the British Order of Merit the last three years and finished third in the Masters last April, but recently he failed even to qualify for the PGA players school tournament.