Also worried about Wadkins and Hayes was Archer, 41, the winner of the 1969 Masters. For safety, Archer figured he needed $962, at least 34th-place money, which would edge him past the sidelined Diehl. "I know I'm at the end of my career," said Archer. "I'm just trying to prolong it."
Hearing this, an elderly fan handed Archer a business card and said, "George, I'll give you a job tomorrow."
"I might take it," said Archer.
On Saturday, with a morose Caldwell packed and gone home and a still hopeful Diehl hanging around the scoreboard, Archer had a good round going before he bogeyed two of the last three holes and settled for a 72 that left him tied for 59th place in the tournament. Hayes birdied five of the first six holes, then sagged on the last nine and finished with a 69, which tied him for 12th, a position also held by a now glum Wadkins after a lackluster 72. Everybody had his calculator out. "It always goes down to the last nine holes," said Diehl.
And that is what happened. First Archer went out on Sunday and shot a so-so 72. His $488 check raised his season total to $67,163, still $473 behind Diehl, and it left their fates in the hands of Wadkins and Hayes.
Wadkins finished first. His drive on the 18th hole kicked dead left into a bad lie. Wadkins bogeyed and dropped back to a tie for 10th worth $4,150, which moved him past both Archer and Diehl into 58th place. Then came Hayes. His last iron shot left him 12 feet from the cup. He practiced his stroke, lined it up—and missed, an error that cost him $1,850. He also finished tied for 10th, receiving a check that boosted his earnings to $66,535, still $628 behind Archer, who had now become the 60th man, with Diehl No. 59.
But wait! Playing in a final group was Gary Hallberg. If he birdied the 18th, he would have second place and $21,600 and would move well up the money list, bumping Archer. Hallberg studied a seven-foot birdie putt. As it went into the hole, the youngster raised his fist in exultation, but the ball inexplicably spun out. George Archer knew the feeling. As he said earlier, the whole game is nothing but a lot of sweat.