We both played in the Chicago National Victory event in 1946, a sort of golfing celebration of the end of the war. I saw Byron at breakfast before the final round, eating alone. He was leading, and I asked him how he felt. He said, "I feel like I'm going into a torture chamber." By the end of the day he had won the tournament and retired from the stressful life of a leading touring pro. After that, he played only in select events, most notably the Masters.
6 The 4th Tee
In 1972, in the second round, I was paired with Don January, the lanky pro from Texas. On the 4th, a longish par-3, I pushed my four-wood tee shot to the right of the green. When I got down there, I saw that my ball was in a bamboo thicket. I went back to the tee with two balls and two clubs, a four-wood and a one-iron. My second ball finished where the first did. I decided I'd try something different for my third attempt and used the one-iron. That shot finished in the bamboo thicket too.
Billy Casper and Gary Player, among other players, were waiting. Mr. Roberts was watching. Justin Stanley, the official standing on the 4th tee, asked me, "What are your intentions, Bill?"
My three balls were out of play, and I was out of balls.
"I'm going to do something I've never done before and take myself out of play," I said.
Mr. Stanley smiled; he would get the field moving again.
I walked fast to the green where Don was waiting patiently, along with both caddies.
I asked, "What would you like me to do?"
He said, "Play on, like it never happened." It was a kind thing for him to say.