CUPS AND KISSES
Neither wind nor rain prevented rivals, old or new, from completion of the appointed tests
This is an article from the April 14, 1958 issue
The traditional rivalries of the season, and several impromptu undertakings, were contested last week and, for the most part, in spite of the season's traditionally capricious weather. The Masters, at once the green end of the winter tour and the green beginning of the summer tour, was played under fitfully sullen skies over a sodden course at Augusta, Ga.; a heavy rain pocked the Thames from Putney to Mortlake, and thick mist obscured the toiling crews in the Oxford-Cambridge boat race; a dusty cross wind with gusts up to 30 mph deviled the sprinters at Big Spring, Texas (see page 16); and a morning rain mired Los Angeles' Wrigley Field before the Bassey-Moreno fight. If the weather was changeful, the fortunes of the favorites were not. In the main, they took home the cups and bestowed or received the kisses.
PALMER EARNS HIS JACKET
On the wind-whipped Augusta National course this week a young man named Arnold Palmer celebrated Easter Sunday by winning the Masters golf championship and the dark green jacket which is its exclusive symbol. He finished early with a 284 and then waited in the clubhouse while 10 other serious contenders made their bids and failed.
Palmer, a muscular 28-year-old from Latrobe, Pa., had good scores (70-73) on his first two rounds, but the spotlight was falling on Ken Venturi with his brilliant 68-72 on those days and it wasn't until Saturday that Palmer with his 211 began to look like a possible winner.
On the final day Arnold was given the unenviable assignment of pacing home such fierce contenders as Sam Snead, the splendid amateur Billy Joe Patton, the resolute defending champion Doug Ford and Cary Middlecoff, as well as Venturi and others—all of whom snuggled under a 4-stroke blanket. Under this pressure Palmer hit the ball far and effectively and moreover showed a cool knowledge of the rules that contributed to the final margin of victory. It had been raining for two days, and when Palmer's tee-shot on the par-3 12th hole became deeply embedded in the muddy embankment just back of the green, he hacked out and took a 5. But then, citing a temporary course "bad-weather" rule which permitted a free lift out in such an instance, Palmer played a provisional ball and got a par 3. Even while waiting for his claim to be upheld—which it was—he eagled the par-5 13th, finished with a 73.
Ford and Fred Hawkins, playing together, supplied a final thrill in the late afternoon when each stood on the 18th green needing only longish putts to tie for the lead. But Hawkins missed his from 18 feet, and when Ford's brave try from 12 feet swerved too far left Palmer was the winner.
A diligent fellow, Palmer will take only a few days of rest and vacation. Then he will fold up his brand-new green jacket and get back to the tour.
BIG WIN IN A BIG WIND FOR DUKE'S SIME
Dave Sime, a sprinter built with the solid grace of a tall heavyweight, went rabbit hunting in the windy wasteland of Big Spring, Texas last week. He potted a couple of the long-legged, big-eared Texas jack rabbits with a .22-caliber target pistol bought for the occasion on Friday; next afternoon, he bagged Texas' most famous jack rabbit when he outran Olympic Champion Bobby Morrow in a wind-swept, sand-scoured 100-yard dash.
It was a solid victory for Sime, who had split with Morrow in two races in 1956, winning at 100 yards in 9.4 seconds, losing at 100 meters in 10.4. Friday morning, before his rabbit-hunting expedition, Sime had worked hard on the only flaw in his magnificent running style—his start. As Joe Bailey Cheaney, one of the best starters in America, sent off high school and junior college runners, Sime lined up on the grass, taking the starts with them in order to synchronize his getaway with Cheaney's rhythm. The next morning, in a preliminary heat, he started well but straightened up too soon, lost his momentum and drive and finished second to Abilene Christian's Bill Woodhouse.
In the big race against Morrow in the afternoon, Sime told himself "Don't straighten up," shook off one false start, then exploded out of his blocks in a perfectly timed start. Morrow was never in the race as Sime built his lead in the last 20 yards, beat Morrow a full step and Woodhouse, a surprise second, by nearly the same margin, in 9.6 seconds. Sime and Morrow meet again at the Penn Relays, April 25-26. "It will be different there," Morrow said.
THE SQUIRE BEATS THE LITTLE BIRD
"When I awoke and saw it was raining here in Los Angeles, I actually wept," said Hogan (Kid) Bassey of Calabar, Nigeria and Liverpool last week in the precise accents of a man on whom Queen Elizabeth has bestowed the Order of the British Empire and who is entitled to be addressed as Hogan Bassey, Esquire. Kid Bassey explained that he was "emotionally prepared" to defend his featherweight title against Ricardo (Little Bird) Moreno of Mexico. "Delay would have been annoying."
There was no delay—though a pro-Moreno crowd, thousands of whom had traveled up from Mexico, booed Bassey as he entered the ring. Bassey merely nodded.
In the stands Moreno supporters bragged: "The big punch, se√±or! The Little Bird will, how you say, tear the head from the small man from Africa." And so it seemed, as the Mexican tore violently into Bassey in the first round. But in the second the accomplished Bassey took over, belaboring the wild and woolly Moreno at will. In the closing seconds of the third round Bassey dropped Moreno with a right. The Little Bird fluttered feebly as the referee tolled 10 above him.
Hogan (Kid) Bassey, Esq., MBE, paid a courtesy call on Moreno and gravely congratulated him on his big punch.
YOUTH MOVEMENT ON THE WATER FRONT
For two successive weekends wet-backed youngsters scarcely out of their trundle beds have been repainting the U.S. swimming picture in chlorinated watercolors.
True, a few oldtimers like Frank Modine of Michigan State and Roger Anderson of Yale came through with expected victories in the NCAA swimming championships at Ann Arbor, March 27-29 (see panels below), but in the same meet a 19-year-old U. of Michigan sophomore named Tony Tashnick sounded the herald horn of swimming's youth movement with record marks in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly. And last week, at the AAU nationals in New Haven, the water babies really took over.
Australia's Murray Rose, a 19-year-old USC freshman, easily won the 220-yard and 1,500-meter freestyle and broke the old U.S. record in winning the 440 freestyle in 4:21.6. Lance Larson, 17, an unknown Los Angeles schoolboy, won the 100-yard freestyle in 49.5 and came a fingertip second to Tashnick in the 100-yard butterfly, though both were timed at the U.S. record-tying speed of 54.3. And, too, there was the promise of a future record buster in 12-year-old Ronnie Wirth of Philadelphia, a 440 free-styler who was but one of several subteen-agers who performed amazingly against man-size competition.
All in all, the championships augured shorter odds on U.S. swimmers in the 1960 Olympics future book.
BRITAIN FLOURISHES ITS NEW 'SCEPTRE'
A full month before any of her U.S. counterparts was ready, Britain's eagerly awaited America's Cup challenger last week slid down a Clydeside ways to become no longer merely Job No. 307 but the duly christened 12-meter yacht Sceptre. "We wanted a name," said Charles Wainman of the British syndicate, "that wouldn't look too silly if we lost."
Despite this modest and cautious disclaimer, few people of the hundreds gathered on the bank of Scotland's Holy Loch seemed much concerned with Sceptre's losing. A bright sun had broken through days of grim overcast to lend happy augury to the event. Flags fluttered from the riggings of yachts moored nearby. Along the banks of the loch, which is really an inlet of the Firth of Clyde, elegantly dressed Londoners mingled with local schoolchildren to watch the delicate craft slide into the water. When at last Lady Gore, wife of Commodore Sir Ralph Gore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, swung the beribboned bottle of champagne that started Sceptre down the ways, a resounding cheer rolled up the surrounding hills.
Nothing has been spared by her backers, by Shipbuilder George Robertson who built her or by Naval Architect David Boyd who designed her to make Britain's challenger, in Robertson's words, "as fine a piece of work as could be turned out in any yard in the world today." Her long and graceful hull, painted white with a vivid scarlet boottop at the water-line, spoke for itself. Virtually every item in her construction had been especially designed and fabricated by manufacturers as eager as the yacht's owners to bring home the silver trophy which America's yachtsmen have guarded jealously since 1851. "Every man in the yard," confided Sceptre's builder Robertson, "feels he is a part of her."
A Bermuda-rigged cutter, some 70 feet long and weighing more than 30 tons, Sceptre had been turned out in a creditable six months. Her hull is of heavy 1½-inch mahogany laid over alternating frames of steel and timber. Her mast is aluminum, her rigging high-tensile steel, her sails Terylene, the British chemical industry's equivalent of Dacron.
Some two weeks hence, after preliminary tune ups in Scottish waters and the completion of last-minute construction details, Sceptre will sail to the south of England to begin her in-earnest training under a crew, not yet finally mustered, for the races off Newport, R.I. in late September. Unlike her J-boat predecessors, all of which were required by the rules governing the challenge to sail across the ocean "on their bottoms," Britain's newest cup challenger will be carried to American waters as freight sometime in mid-July.
While the three new U.S. yachts, the Hovey-Hunt Easterner, the just-named Mercer-Rhodes Weatherly and the still-nameless Sears-Stephens boat, as well as the veteran Vim, are competing among themselves, Sceptre will presumably be learning a thing or two about how to beat them all.
CHICAGO GOES TO THE DOGS
In the brilliantly lighted expanse of Chicago's International Amphitheatre, home of livestock expositions and political conventions, 2,371 purebred dogs from 32 states and points abroad gathered to bid for one of the dog-world's greatest prizes. Hardly as well publicized as New York's Westminster but even more spectacular, the International Kennel Club's annual show is the biggest in the Midwest and the best attended in the country.
Into its winner's circle this year pranced three of 1957's top canine celebrities: Harold Florsheim's Airedale, Westhay Fiona of Harham, top terrier of the year; Charles Venable's powerful Pekingese, last year's best-in-show, Chik T'Sun of Caversham; and Chris Teeter's big winning basset Siefenjagenheim Lazy Bones (SI, Dec. 16, 1957). As photographers popped flashbulbs at these blasé veterans of the limelight, a newcomer to the big time, Ch. Ben-Dar's Winning Stride, modestly waited for New York Judge Alva Rosenberg to crown him best-in-show at Chicago. The orange Belton English setter, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Raymond O'Connell of Livonia, Mich., had only one other best-in-show to his credit, but showmanship is his heritage. Four years ago in the same arena, Winning Stride's father walked off with the same victory. For Winning Stride the future gleams as brightly as the International's first-prize Paul Revere silver bowl.
But the triumph was no more memorable than that which Eugene Narducy experienced in a smaller and less spectacular arena on the other side of the Windy City. Here the Valentine Boys' Club staged its own version of the International—a Common Dog Show.
In the club's gymnasium mutts of all shapes, sizes and styles put best paws forward as they bid for a prize which to their young owners carried every bit as much glory as the biggest at the International. Victorious over such formidable competition as Cleo, Most Spotted Dog in Show, and Sinai, Youngest Dog in Show, was Giant Mutt Lassie, a collie-type collie which bounded off with top honors and the overwhelming admiration of her wide-eyed 8-year-old owner.