But Hollis wore him down. She dropped a 10-footer for a birdie on the next hole, and after the gallery had quieted, Jerry applauded loudly, then tossed a friendly arm around her. From then on there was a lot of hugging as they birdied the last three holes.
Another highlight of the opening round was the Trevino-Mann finish. They were one over par and, as Trevino said, on their way to spending Sunday watching Tampa Bay play football, when funny things happened. Mann: "He was in the fairway with a four-iron in his hands. He said, 'Got to get this close for my baby,' swung and knocked it into the cup." An eagle 2. They picked up a birdie and then, on the last hole, Mann hit an eight-iron into the hole for another eagle 2. Five under par in three holes. Trevino, already approaching the green, turned and raced across the fairway, arms wide. Mann, eight inches taller, leaned down to accept a kiss. Trevino is sporting a new Charles Bronson mustache these days. "Tickles," Mann reported. Trevino added, "I kissed Sam Snead on the ear yesterday and he followed me all the way to the practice green."
Friday belonged to two more youngsters, Strange, 22, and Lopez, 20. And to the rain. It began late Thursday, drenching those still on the course, continuing through the night and forcing a two-hour delay at the start of Friday's round. It remained miserably wet all day.
Out of the gloom came Strange-Lopez, she a close second to Stacy in the Open, he a skilled amateur who is just starting out on the tour. They had begun with a respectable 69, three-under, then moved swiftly into second place with a barrage of birdies, many of them on Lopez' deadly putting. At their final hole, Strange's drive was well beyond Nancy's, but Lopez trooped on ahead and hit first, knocking her approach onto the green.
"We've been doing that," Strange said. "I think it takes the pressure off Nancy." When both had hit to the green, Nancy's approach was slightly inside Strange's, but he asked her to try the birdie putt, a distance of some 25 feet. She missed, barely. "She had been putting well and I hadn't sunk one that long in five holes," Strange said.
Despite missing the birdie, Strange-Lopez wound up with a 65, 10 under for the tournament. That put them three shots behind Pate-Stacy, who were proving that 61s are rare. Early in Friday's round Pate missed two mini putts and neither player drove well, yet they managed to reach 13-under before darkness prevented them and 15 other couples from finishing.
Which is why Hollis was out there in her jeans at eight the next morning. "It was only one hole and I figured we wouldn't have a gallery," she said. She was right. She and Pate parred, returned to their quarters and reappeared four hours later.
By then the sun was hot, drying the course. There was a large gallery, most of which seemed to have come down from Pensacola and Savannah to follow Pate and Stacy. For five holes they watched apprehensively as their team parred while Strange-Lopez narrowed the lead to two strokes. But on the 6th hole, a par 5, Pate-Stacy made a birdie and, coincidentally, revealed what Pate later called his game plan for the rest of the tournament. Namely, let Hollis do the putting.
At 6, the team had the option of letting Stacy approach from about 100 yards or Pate from 130. They (Pate) chose the latter and Jerry put the ball 15 feet away. Stacy knocked it in. She dropped one from 25 feet at the 16th and from 22 feet at the 18th, both with the red eye of the TV camera squarely on her, and when the day was over they were still three strokes ahead of Strange-Lopez.
Pate-Stacy closed it out on Sunday, but it wasn't easy. After 10 holes Strange-Lopez, playing one group ahead, had narrowed the gap to a single stroke and there they held until the 17th. Then Strange, who had not been putting well, holed a 25-footer for a birdie. Tie ball game. On 18, Lopez missed a birdie try from the same distance. The two stood by to watch their rivals finish.