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Weiskopf and Nicklaus had quite a battle, thinking back on it; the champion was out there punching with a tough contender. Jack won four tournaments Tom was in, and Tom won three tournaments Jack was in. They each got a major championship, and they each wound up with some kind of Golfer of the Year award. But probe deeper and it is discovered that in the 15 events both entered, Weiskopf finished ahead of Nicklaus nine times.
"I didn't know that," Weiskopf says, "I gotta tell the Bear he's over the hill."
Johnny Miller did it all pretty much in one week, or in one day, when he shot that 63 at Oakmont and won the U.S. Open. Well, let's say two weeks, for he nearly won the British Open in a battle with Weiskopf.
The same was true of Crenshaw. He exploded at the end, coming out of the PGA's qualifying school to win the first tournament he entered, and then following that up with a near-miss, second place at Pinehurst.
Wadkins was a little different. He won two tournaments, all right, but he was also the practice round champion of the Western world, and his pleasingly cocky attitude, matched with this, earned him the reputation among the other players as a mini-tiger.
"All through my streak," says Weiskopf, "Lanny was beating my brains out on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday."
Wadkins is also a fairly good needier. He went up to Arnold Palmer at one point last year and said, "You must have been a hell of a player in your day."
For all of these bright talents, and the old standbys as well, there is a new stage for their act. There are still eight tournaments named for show-biz types, and four named for companies, and two for hotels and two more for amusement parks, but it will all come to a sensible conclusion by Nov. 3. Good. Two months off.
Five tournaments have been lost—St. Louis, Robinson, the Match Play, the Atlanta Classic and the L&M Open—but what has been gained is a solid plus. Besides the new Tournament Players Championship, which is being called the "backup PGA" and which will be rotated around the country, and besides the rebirth of the National Team Championship at the Walt Disney World layout in Orlando, golf now has a thing that is likely to gain the name of the Designated Open.
There will be three Designated Opens this year, at Colonial in Fort Worth, at Kemper in Charlotte and at the World in Pinehurst. A Designated Open is something that everybody who matters to the public "must" play in, or they will be sent to prison by Joe Dey, the outgoing commissioner, or Deane Beman, the incoming commissioner.