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Campbell is the reigning U.S. Senior Amateur champion and a man familiar with the term "old." He uses old golf clubs (he bought his current woods 25 years ago), drives old cars (a '55 Imperial), wears old clothes and believes in the old-fashioned work ethic. He limits his golf to weekends and sporadic evening play when he tours the course with his golden retriever.
That is not to say that Campbell does not take the game seriously. A few years ago he needed an operation on his shoulder to repair the accumulated damage from hitting practice balls hour after hour. During the operation, the surgeon put Campbell's arm through a complete simulated backswing before he sewed him up, just to make certain the golfer could pursue his passion upon recovery.
Tied with de Vicenzo for fourth place at the halfway point was the famous raconteur Al Besselink, 58. After rounds of 75-72, Bessy visited the press room. "I play out of the Jockey Club in Las Vegas," he said. "I'm the director of golf, but we don't have a golf course. The first time I pulled up in front of the place, the doorman said, 'You can't park your car there.' I said, 'Listen. Go get some paint and put my name on that spot.' That's where I've parked ever since. That's the kind of job I have, because my best friend owns the place."
The way Besselink tells it, when he played the tour, professional golf was just an excuse for having fun. "There are so many stories," Besselink says. "Once Bob Rosburg and I played in the Mexican Open. They paid our way down. After the third round we went out for some fun. We'd been drinking wine, and about 5 a.m. we were walking down this street, singing. The tournament officials found out about it and complained we weren't taking things seriously. I said, 'I'll bet you $1,000 one of us wins it,' and they took me up on it. Well, on the 1st hole I hit the ball three times and I'm not even on the green That was end of me. When I finished, I ran out to find Rosburg on the 17th hole. I told him, Two more pars, we win the money.' He shanked his second shot into a sand trap. Now I'm holding my head in my hands. He holes it out of the sand for a birdie. I let out a whoop and yell, 'Ros, that shot killed more Mexicans than the Alamo.' "
On Saturday, Besselink three-putted five of the last eight holes and finished with a 79 that knocked him out of the chase. But he was always better at winning bets than trophies. Once, on the eve of the San Diego Open, he bet $1,000 at 10-to-l odds that he would shoot 66 or better the next day. He did. Later, golf officials wanted to penalize him for gambling. "What're you, crazy?" Bessy sputtered. "A man bets he'll shoot 66, you shouldn't penalize him, you should put him in an insane asylum."
Roberto had arrived on the 1st tee Saturday feeling a little queasy. He had had the flu off and on for some time and was too ill to play in a senior tournament held in Atlantic City, N.J. the previous week. But a birdie on the par-five 2nd hole Saturday was like a shot of antibiotics. "You play good, you feel good," he said, and then went on to shoot four more birdies for a 68 that left him with a 54-hole total of 215, two over par, and two strokes ahead of Wall.
Many people think de Vicenzo deserves a good share of the credit for the new popularity of senior golf. Last year he and Boros wowed a television audience with five straight birdies as they beat Bolt and Wall in a playoff at the Legends of Golf. And purists regard the Argentine as one of the alltime best manipulators of the golf club. "I been lousy putter all my life," de Vicenzo said at Winged Foot when asked if senility had yet crept into his short game. "On the tee, sometimes I catch ball and it go like I am young. The game not change much. But the mentality change. The concentration is not like years ago."
Wall agreed. His swing felt fine, he said, after rounds of 74-71-72, but his nerves were jumping. "I'm trying not to try too hard," he said.
Over the years, Wall has racked up 42 holes in one, an incredible figure. But his greatest moment came in the 1959 Masters when he birdied five of the last six holes to beat Cary Middlecoff by a stroke. "I remember when we started the round," he said. "Boros and I had about six people watching us. When we finished, we had the whole golf course following us. They are good memories."