In this respect, one of the best things about this year's match was the presence of the two poorest golfers who have ever taken part in the Canada Cup—Salim and Sjamsudin from Indonesia, a newcomer to the affair. These two pleasant, brown-skinned young men arrived in Australia with trousers that curled under their shoes, a minimum of English and four beat-up sticks apiece. They were outfitted with full sets—they never did get used to the wedge and went back to the seven-iron for their trap shots—and nervously set forth onto a course 10 times tougher than any they had seen before. They didn't do too badly at all. On the third round, Sjamsudin, a professional caddie at the Palembang Club in Sumatra and the best native player on the island, had an 87, a feat comparable to Thomson's breaking 70. He slid back into the 90s on the last round, but his partner Salim brought in an 87, which delighted everyone since it was the first time he had been in the 80s. Chunky in build, Salim is the best player among the professional caddies at the Djakarta Club in Java. He has his name tattooed on his arm. Sjamsudin has four gold teeth. They use an open stance on all shots, do not interlock or overlap the hands and swing too quickly, but they have a good instinctive ability for hitting golf balls. For all their jitters, their sole regret was that because they were playing they couldn't get to study the techniques of the stars as much as they would have liked. It is to be hoped that in the years ahead we will be seeing other fellows like them from other countries where golf is hardly known and barely played, for these are the boys who make the Canada Cup more than just another 72-hole tournament.
On the eve of the match there was some speculation as to how welcome the galleries would make the Japanese team. The Australians, for understandable reasons, have been slower than some others at forgetting the war. As it turned out, the crowds were more than cordial to Pete Nakamura, the hero of the 1957 match, who was teamed not with his old partner, Ono, but with a country boy from the Nikko District, Haruyoshi Kobari, a pretty good scrambler. They did well for three rounds, but on the final day Nakamura took a 78 and Kobari a big 84 and they slipped from seventh to 13th in the standings.
Nakamura, you may be interested to know, has done very well commercially since his Canada Cup performance at Kasumigaseki elevated him to the status of a national personality. He has a new home. Where he used to get around on an old motor bike, now he drives a new Austin. An instruction book of his has been a big seller. He has become the complete pro, too, in shifting to much stronger, stiffer shafts and pursuing length, length, length. He now hits his drives 20 yards farther than two years ago but about 20 yards wider also, and he is no longer the best player in the Far East. This distinction presently belongs to Chen Ching-Po, a small-boned, lithe Chinese from the Taiwan Country Club who carried off the last Japan Open. Chen has a lovely, sound swing and is altogether an extremely fine golfer. After an opening 76 at Melbourne, he shot rounds of 73, 71, 72 and finished tied for sixth in the individual scoring with such slightly better-known names as Eric Brown of Scotland, Flory Van Donck of Belgium and Dr. Cary Middlecoff.
This mention of the individual scores leads me to the one serious criticism I have to make of the Canada Cup. The essential element that made the match attractive at the outset and continued to make it worthwhile is its being a team competition between nations. On every hole the scores of both members of the two-man teams count. That is why Nagle and Thomson went so far as to attempt to drive to the same sector of the fairway and to play their approaches to the same side of the pins, for then the second man to play the approach or putt could profit from his partner's experience.
What I am getting around to is my considered feeling that it was a shortsighted day when the IGA elected to put up a second trophy for the lowest individual total for the 72 holes. This has served only to detract from the team match. It generally will. On the final day, barring a complete collapse by the leaders or a galvanic rally by a contender, the outcome of the team match may be all but decided after the first nine holes. More often than not, though, the fight for individual honors will still be going on. Three times in the last five years, as a matter of fact, ties have resulted in this individual race, and sudden-death playoffs have been necessary. This has added a fillip of excitement, yes, but at the cost of taking away the spotlight from the team competition at the very moment of the tournament's climax.
The heroes should be the men on the winning team. Many other observers besides myself hope that by the time the next Canada Cup is played at Portmarnock this whole individual business will have been eliminated from the format. As for the John Jay Hopkins Trophy that has annually gone to the low scorer, we see it serving a far better purpose if a competition within the over-all competition were set up for the new-to-golf nations, with this cup going to the winning team. Just how this could work is something that will take some thought, and we will be giving it precisely that this evening when we coast into Young and Jackson's famous pub, order "a glass" and at a safe distance watch the celebrated 6 o'clock rush.