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Why those three tournaments?
"Because they are well-run events on great golf courses," Joe Dey explains, referring to Colonial, Quail Hollow and Pinehurst.
The hope of Beman, as it is of Dey, is that there eventually will be 10 Designated tournaments; class events, in other words, putting up a minimum of $250,000, and for which a Nicklaus and a Weiskopf and a Trevino and a Palmer will be guaranteed to the sponsor.
Obviously, a lot of tournaments are never going to be among the elite and might feel like stepchildren, and might—maybe—decide they do not even want to be tournaments anymore. Immediately, one would have to wonder about Memphis. It falls exactly between Colonial and Kemper, two of the three "musts." Memphis is not a "must." If Memphis draws anybody other than Harry Vardon and Old Tom Morris, the sponsors will deserve a ticker-tape parade.
Beman says, "We have to be progressive and we have to be realistic. We want good tournaments on good golf courses, and to get that the sponsor wants a good field. I think we'll always have the smaller tournaments, enough at least, because they want the circus to come to town once a year."
One thing the pros did not particularly want was Deane Beman as commissioner. Or any other player. They were almost unanimous in the feeling that the selection of a player or former player as their leader would be difficult because it would be impossible for that fellow ever to gain the respect of the other players.
For more than two months they all talked about replacing Joe Dey with a "high-powered businessman" who could tell them what to do and make them like it. How hard the PGA looked for such a person is not known, but the only people who were actually interviewed by the 10-man board were Deane Beman, Dan Sikes, Jay Hebert, all players; Jack Tuthill, the PGA tournament director; and a lawyer and a broadcasting executive whom Dey prefers not to name.
In Beman they chose a young man, 35, a man who won a tournament last year, a man who admitted at Pebble Beach that he had never made many close friends on the tour other than Bert Yancey, a man noted more for his accomplishments as an amateur, and, incidentally, a man who had never joined the PGA.
"Look," Beman said. "I'm sure some of the guys are disappointed, and it was hard for me to give up playing. I think I know what's good for the game and what's good for the tour. I'm going to be fair and go by the rules. I hope to earn the respect of the players, if I don't have it now."
Beman paused, then added: "I'll say this. I hope there aren't too many fellows out here who are that deeply disappointed. Because I am the commissioner."