"O.K., Mildred," Richard says.
On the course, tee to green, Barber is still a master. But his putting, once so reliable, comes and goes, eroded by the years. There's a lot of money to be made, though, enough that people refer to X's caddie, Herman Mitchell, as Jesse James. Mitchell, a massive, rotund fellow who also caddies for Lee Trevino, doesn't have to carry Barber's clubs, except at an occasional tournament that bars carts. He drives, X walks. It's a winning combo.
Barber has his home and his family, and now he has his majors. X has won all of the "new" tour's Big Three: the U.S. Open (twice), the PGA and the Tournament Players Championship—all with "Senior" appended to them, of course. But what does that matter, really? He never has to shine his shoes. When he comes back to his locker at the end of the day, there they are, all buffed and polished. "It's just like years ago," says X.
Barber figures he'll keep on going until he can't win. "We all know when we can't do it anymore," he says. "When that time comes, I'll quit." Now when he wins a tournament, Karen snips the articles and adds them to the family files. All X ever wanted to do was shoot in the 60s, and he's still doing it, still doing it.
He has grown into his role as a champion. There are no Golden Boys now to take away his thunder. But at heart, he remains Mr. X. On the course, in his disguise, he could be playing in isolation. No charisma, no emotion, just him and golf.
One afternoon as Barber walked off the green, oblivious as always, an elderly woman, miffed at his phlegmatic demeanor, said crossly, "Why don't you smile?" For a second Barber gave a little start. Then he resumed walking. Hey, Arnie, he's still mysterious.