It was as if the PGA was trying to prove it could hold a major championship against all physical odds. The miracles then began to unfold. Robert Trent Jones came in to do over the course, adding enough sand traps to blind an Arab. The Reynolds trust got a clubhouse built practically overnight. The Tanglewood Park employees were hustled into duty on all of those committees, such as marshaling and parking and so forth.
Considering everything, they managed to bring it off, and this was to everyone's credit. But the tournament was obviously lacking in the refinements which go toward a memorable event. The leader boards out on the course were carefully hidden, and those you could find were situated in weird places. There was one on the front nine, for example, which no one could have seen unless he was wandering off toward vacant pastureland. Others seemed to be facing in the wrong directions.
Most of the public parking was located about 2,000 miles from the clubhouse, which crested a hill, and between everyone's car and the tournament were hordes of state troopers looking and acting as if they were getting ready to whip up on somebody or get in a Dodge commercial.
As for the literary set, the Tanglewood PGA produced the first press tent within anyone's memory that was constructed on a slope. Which led Tom Place, the PGA's public information director, to say, "This is the first time you'll have to play a downhill break to get to your typewriter."
It was the third tournament of the year in North Carolina, Greensboro and Kemper having come before, and there will be still one more, the World Open at Pinehurst next month. This must add up to some kind of record for a "brown bag" state, which also insists that a visitor order a cheese sandwich in a bar or else he can't buy wine.
To most of the players, Tanglewood, despite its beauty, represented a setback to the stature they felt their own championship had slowly been attaining. Starting in 1970 with Southern Hills, the PGA had been played at prestige courses. It had gone to what used to be known as the PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens in 1971, to Oakland Hills in 1972 and to Canterbury last year, and the next three will be splendid—Firestone, Congressional and Pebble Beach.
"But in between we had to have this," said Tom Weiskopf with the tone of voice that befits a man ready to withdraw. And Tom was. In the second round Weiskopf, last year's star and this year's Most Frustrated Player, reached the 16th green in a drizzle and then, depending on how you add and subtract, went about the business of nine-putting, at times gripping his putter upside down.
He finally put the ball in his pocket and told a PGA official, "I'm injured and I quit."
"What's your injury?" a friend asked.
"I'm 25 over," Tom grinned, and left.