? Bob Byman. When he failed twice to get his card, he skipped the country, going abroad to win the Dutch, Scandanavian and New Zealand Opens. With his confidence bolstered, Byman came home to win Arnold Palmer's tournament at Bay Hill. He is young, tough and good-looking. He is also not overly popular with other players, which means he must be talented.
? Howard Twitty. Here's a big fellow who looks less like his name than anyone since Ky Laffoon. Nobody ever looked like a Ky Laffoon. Twitty has been in the top 60 for four years. He was just waiting to win. It finally happened at the B.C. Open.
? D. A. Weibring. Donald Albert Weibring was tall, handsome and blond, so why not become a touring pro? It was only after he won the Quad Cities tournament that anyone knew exactly which one of the pros he was. Now there are people who have come to recognize him as an articulate chap and not a bad swinger of the club.
There are three more tournaments this year—the Texas, Southern and Pensacola Opens—so there are three more chances for first-time winners. The World Series of Golf is not really the end of the season as far as money and exemptions go. What it is, in fact, is the beginning of qualifying for next year's World Series, which will be moved to the last week of August in the hope of stimulating more interest.
The enlarging of the field from 26 to 36 players this year—by picking up entries from those high on the money list who do not otherwise qualify under the World Series' complex system—was a concession to TV and Firestone, but the golfers who got in that way didn't feel they had earned the right to be in a tournament that had the ring of a Tournament of Champions without the plush trappings of La Costa.
The answer to the problem of selling the World Series as a tournament may be to keep increasing the field each year until it gets up to 144 players. At that point they can call it the American Golf Classic, which is what Firestone used to host.
At least, that would probably make Jack Nicklaus eligible. He didn't qualify for last week's World Series. Which prompted a lady in the gallery to ask, "How can they call this the World Series of Golf if they don't invite Jack Nicklaus?"
Wonder what she thought as Hinkle's ball skipped across the water?