You might see her strolling the back nine at Pebble Beach with Linda (Mrs. Tom) Watson; or applauding a birdie at Firestone with Polly (Mrs. Ben) Crenshaw; or pausing for a sandwich at Muirfield Village with Jana (Mrs. Mark) Hayes; or dining in the clubhouse at the Masters, the tournament coming up next week, with Barbara (Mrs. Jack)—is there another Barbara on the PGA tour?—Nicklaus. You might also overhear someone ask Reporter Myra Gelband what her husband shot today, as people have. It's easy to see why. Myra has been dropping in on tournaments in SI's behalf for almost three years now, getting to know the competitors and their wives and gathering the kind of quotes and facts that enhance a story such as Dan Jenkins' Masters Preview in this issue (page 40).
Says Jenkins, who calls Gelband his "trusty sidekick": "Her name is Myra, not Myra Jean, as many Texans might think. She comes from somewhere on eastern Long Island. She studied English literature and biology at the University of Rochester and forestry at the University of Edinburgh, so naturally she wound up in journalism.
"She got into golf around here because those of us who deal with it asked for somebody smart and energetic as our researcher. We had been spoiled. First we had Patricia Ryan, who has now become golf editor, and then we had Sarah Pileggi, who has become a writer, so we looked around the staff and thought we saw a potential managing editor in Myra Jean.
"It was appropriate that she got into golf because while she was at Edinburgh she once clipped a half acre of grass with nail scissors, was obliged to visit abandoned slag heaps in central Fife and had to spend 24 hours following one sheep through its routine and chronicling it. I asked Myra Jean if sheep were fun, and she said, 'More fun than being in a Pub Letter.' She's a fairly private person.
April 4, 1977
"Among other things she has done for SI was interview Euell Gibbons. They had lunch at his home in Beavertown, Pa. What they had for lunch was sausage pizza, pickled string beans, cranberry sauce and grape juice, 'I didn't eat the cranberry sauce,' she told me. I asked if that meant she did eat the pickled string beans? She only smiled like the girl next door, which is what she thinks she looks like.
"I would alert those golfers and wives on the tour who have yet to get to know her that she comes from a terrifying family. Her father was a doctor, her mother teaches science, she has a sister who's an assistant district attorney, another sister who's a botanist and a brother who's a computer analyst. I've told her she's too intelligent to hang around golf, but she likes it.
"Primarily for the tour's bachelors, I will conclude by reporting that she's 27 and unmarried, and Ben Crenshaw might have proposed if he hadn't met Polly first."