A classic example was Dean Refram, who began Sunday's final round tied for fourth place at 208. Refram was one of the first tour players to putt croquet style. He was a fine striker of the ball, and for the one year (1967) he putted between his legs, he seemed to have solved his travails on the greens. The next year croquet putting was outlawed on the grounds of dignity—and Refram was on his way to the pro shop.
On Sunday Ferree went out to win a tournament he had dedicated to Blue, who was back sleeping in the car. Ferree, however, kept the muzzle on his putter, making only one putt over four feet. By the 13th hole, he and his playing companion, John Gentile, were deadlocked. Gentile is a 31-year-old pro out of Bridgeport, Conn., who had started the day four strokes back at 208 but was now sinking putt after putt without cracking a smile. Gentile's aim is to maintain a calm demeanor—what he calls "coping with reality"—and when he sank a 50-footer for an eagle on the 11th hole, his breath would not have fogged a mirror. The two finished the 72 holes tied at 276, 10 under.
In the sudden-death playoff, beneath a rising moon, Gentile first almost holed a 40-yard wedge shot, skirting a bunker and stopping the ball 18 inches from the cup. Finsterwald later told him that it might have been the greatest shot he'd ever seen.
Then on the next hole, a par-5, Ferree was contemplating a birdie, having chipped to within 30 inches, when Gentile exploded from a bunker and made a six-foot birdie putt. That was too much reality for Ferree, who missed his short putt and instantly recalled why he left the tour those many years ago. Golf on the other side of midnight may be cruel, but at least you don't have to play again next week.