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O'Meara is a former U.S. Amateur champion and was PGA Rookie of the Year in 1981, but he was slipping into golfs shadows before he flattened his swing and found Nirvana. His guru is Hank Haney, a 29-year-old club pro from Sugar Land, Texas who dogged O'Meara through all four rounds of the Crosby. Because of O'Meara's clear blue eyes, rosy cheeks, enthusiasm for spreading the gospel according to Haney and penchant for hard work, some cynics refer to him as Moonie. Golfie would be more accurate. He owns two video cameras and two tape machines that he and Haney use to analyze his game—endlessly. The two men spent their evenings last week with their feet up, talking about golf swings: O'Meara's and everyone else's. "Hank knows how each of these guys plays," says O'Meara. "I believe in him. The guys on tour look at me, and see the way I've improved, and think: 'Maybe I should try it.' "
The amateur part of the Crosby has always had a heavy show biz aspect, but now, without new blood from the entertainment ranks—aw, Prince and Boy George were no-shows again—the field fills up with biggies of business. One very biggie was Marvin Davis, a real corporate heavyweight judging by his 300 pounds. Davis, who is one of the richest men in America, is a Denver oilman who also owns Twentieth Century-Fox and, coincidentally, the Pebble Beach Corporation. "He looks as if he follows the Eat to Rule diet," snickered one pro after checking out Davis's girth. Davis was the only player in the field who was allowed to use an electric cart, presumably one with beefed-up suspension and a built-in lunch box. Despite his connection with Pebble Beach, Davis and his partner Andy Bean didn't make the pro-am cut. The team of Jack Nicklaus, father and son, fared considerably better, finishing tied for second, nine shots behind Hubert Green and Dean Spanos.
One celebrity amateur of past years was a celebrity pro of sorts this time. Young Crosby, the 1981 U.S. Amateur champion, turned professional before graduating from the University of Miami in December. Although he failed to earn his PGA Tour playing credentials in the qualifying school, he did gain entrée to' the European circuit, which is to golf what Grenada is to the medical profession. Crosby missed the cut at his own tournament by two strokes.
This Crosby was also notable as the place where the Wadkins Express became a local just as it was threatening to barrel through every tour stop. Wadkins had won two of the first three tournaments and $172,350, shooting subpar scores that sounded like windchill figures. He won the Bob Hope Desert Classic with a—27, and his—20 in the Los Angeles Open was a tournament record.
Crosby courses are a different matter, however. On Thursday, a clear, cold day with 40-mile-per-hour gusts rocking everyone, but especially those who played Cypress Point, Wadkins suffered his first double bogey of the year. And it was preceded by his first triple bogey. Ah, the Crosby. Wadkins finished with a 73, his first over-par effort in 14 rounds, but still one of the best Cypress scores of the first day. Eventually he wound up tied for 10th atone-under.
The Crosby field is divided into three groups, which rotate each day to one of the three courses before the cut and final round at Pebble. To accommodate television coverage, which concentrates on Pebble Beach, the big-name players and celebrities are loaded into one group that first plays Cypress, then Spyglass Hill and then, for the folks watching at home, Pebble Beach on Saturday. So, it was the misfortune of Wadkins, and many of the top players, including Watson, Nicklaus. Tom Kite and Greg Norman, to have to play Cypress Point in the fierce winds Thursday, while O'Meara the anonymous was off with the "B" group at Spyglass Hill, which meanders inland a bit and is protected by tall trees. Cypress is more exposed and always catches the brunt of the wind.
Sutton, the tour's leading money-winner two years ago, eked out an 87. He was stunned on one hole to see the wind push his ball six inches as he was about to address it on the green. On the 17th tee, he almost whiffed.
Over at Spyglass, Miller, who's becoming quite inventive, sat in his car with the heater going full blast until he was ready to tee off. "I was almost sweating, and I never did get cold," said Miller, whose 68 gave him a one-stroke lead.
Miller was using a new putter, if that is what you can call a 46-inch club with two grips on it. The shaft reaches up the inside of Miller's left arm, nearly to his armpit, and he chokes down on the lower grip to keep his wrists from breaking as he strokes the ball. He made five birdies with his new stick and afterward said, "I hope it's not a WOO Week club." That, explained Miller, was a club that "works only one week." Actually, it turned out to be more whoops than woo. Miller held together Friday with a 71 at Pebble Beach, a round he called "a whole bunch of mediocrity," but after nine holes Saturday, he was no longer leading and had endured the hazing of fans, as well as his playing companion, Jerry Pate, who booed him for laying up on the par-3 16th rather than going for the green on the 233-yard hole that sits out in the Pacific Ocean.
Another leader board habitué, George Archer, who had opened with 69-70, figured he would have a bad day Saturday at Spyglass when that morning his Maltese dog, Buck, relieved himself in Archer's eye as the golfer was doing exercises on his living room floor. Archer, who's 6'5", said in all seriousness that he never before had a dog do that, "as tall as I am." Archer, squinting, shot a 76.