NEWS AND NOTES

April 20, 1997

MASTERS PAIRS MADE IN HEAVEN

Uptight Augusta National lets down its hair only once during
Masters week--at the par-3 contest, when frivolity is the major
theme. Players swing with their eyes closed; they try to skip
balls across the ponds. Sometimes, spectators are called out of
the crowd to hit shots. Last week there were signs of a nascent
trend at the par-3: celebrity caddies.

That wasn't Mutt and Jeff yukking it up out on the par-3 course
last Wednesday, it was the Admiral, 7'1" David Robinson of the
San Antonio Spurs, caddying for his friend, the Bulldog, 5'9"
Corey Pavin. Meanwhile, Brad Faxon was getting peaceful, easy
feelings from his looper, Glenn Frey, a former member of the
Eagles. Neither caddie brought his player much luck in the
contest, however. Pavin didn't post a score, and Faxon was five
strokes behind the winner, Sandy Lyle, who had a six-under-par 21.

All this made us wonder: What would some celebrities have to
offer certain players if asked to caddie for them?

Dennis Rodman for Tiger Woods. Wouldn't it be fun to see a dog
collar among the dogwoods? If the Worm couldn't teach Woods--who
has been known to tell a racy joke or two and used a cuss word
last Thursday during a press conference--to curb his tongue,
maybe he could talk him into piercing it.

Kerri Strug for Jose Maria Olazabal. The Spaniard, coming off a
19-month layoff due to foot problems, could draw inspiration
from the plucky Strug, who helped her team win an Olympic gold
medal despite an ankle injury. So what if Olazabal's bag
outweighs her?

Elton John for Nick Faldo. Does it warm your heart to learn that
Faldo, the Robogolfer, is partial to the warblings of John, who
sometimes invites his fellow Englishman backstage? As he took a
9 on the par-5 13th hole last Thursday on his way to missing the
cut, Faldo could be heard humming, "Don't let the sun go down on
me."

Bill Clinton for Greg Norman. After a career of Masters
heartbreak, the Shark could use someone as empathetic as the
First Looper to feel his pain. Besides, it would be a gas to
hear Norman say, "Lob wedge, Bubba."

PAVIN TO KITE: CHOOSE SOMEONE ELSE FOR TEAM

Ryder Cup veterans low on the points list always receive
scrutiny, and while most of the attention lately has been
focused on Europeans, some prominent U.S. players are also
languishing. The most prominent is Corey Pavin, who is 30th on
the list and has had one top 10 this year, a tie for eighth at
the Mercedes Championships. At the Masters, Pavin shot
75-74-78-74-301 and finished 43rd, his worst showing at Augusta
since 1989.

Two years ago, after he had won the U.S. Open, Pavin led the
points list and had a 4-1 record during the U.S. loss at Oak
Hill. Now he says that if he doesn't play his way onto the team,
Tom Kite should make someone else a captain's pick. "I don't
want to be a pick," Pavin says. "My goal is for us to send the
best team we can to Valderrama, even if it means me not being on
it."

The way Pavin's playing, he won't be. His 72.31 scoring average
is more than two strokes higher than in '95. Putting has been
the problem. In '95 Pavin was ranked 21st in that category; this
year he's 99th. He has missed three cuts in eight starts and has
earned just $57,060 (105th on the money list). At the same point
in the season in '95, on the way to a $1.34 million year, Pavin
had earned $487,989.

Still, he remains cautiously optimistic. "I didn't have a lot of
confidence this week," Pavin said on Sunday. "I'm trying to hang
in there and recapture that good feeling."

IT'S TIME FOR FORD TO CALL IT QUITS, FINALLY

When Masters officials decided to extend lifetime invitations to
tournament champions, they assumed that at an appropriate time,
past winners would have the grace to say no thanks. Gene Sarazen
did. So did Byron Nelson and Sam Snead. Doug Ford has not. Ford,
the 1957 Masters winner, has shown up every year since, which
was certainly reasonable for a while. But over the last 25 years
he has failed to make a cut, and he has broken 80 only twice in
the '90s.

Last week Ford, 74, broke fresh ground, finishing last, three
shots behind Arnold Palmer, with a 179 that included a
second-round 94. That's the second-highest score in tournament
history, a stroke behind the 95 that Charles Kunkle Jr., an
amateur, shot in the final round in 1956. In 36 holes Ford hit
two greens in regulation, averaged 208 yards off the tee and
made 11 pars, 16 bogeys, eight doubles, one triple and no birdies.

By participating in this year's event, Ford set the record for
most Masters (45). Presumably, this was his goal, but the
spectacle of a man bogeying his way around the course is not
what Bobby Jones had in mind when he started the Masters. Thanks
for the good memories, Doug. Now it's time to say good night.

CBS WAS CONFRONTED WITH LOTS OF TIME, LITTLE DRAMA

Sunday was a long, hard day for CBS. An hour before its coverage
of the Masters began, the network aired Tiger Woods: Son, Hero,
Champion. To its discredit, the network had purchased this
cloying, self-serving saga of the phenom from International
Management Group, which represents Woods. All too often the show
revealed what it was, a commercial for Woods and the companies
he endorses.

CBS got lucky because it was able to focus its Masters coverage
on the son, hero and champion himself--Woods could have missed
the cut. The bad news was that the size of his lead eliminated
most of the usual final-round drama, reducing the commentators
to repeatedly telling us that "it's more than Tiger's swing,
it's his mind, his heart," and that "no one has led a major
championship by this much since Old Tom Morris in 1862." That's
when they weren't making references to the "patrons," which is
what one of the green jackets must have told the CBS crew to
call the people outside the ropes, rather than fans or
spectators. Anyone forgetting that might find himself playing
cards with Gary McCord next April.

Peter Kostis summed up the network's problem during the final
round when he pointed out that "while conventional wisdom says
the tournament begins on the back nine Sunday, this one began on
the back nine Thursday." That made for a three-hour ceremonial
march through the Georgia pines, but such is the flair of Tiger
Woods that CBS had its highest overnight rating for a single day
of a golf tournament.

THE SHAG BAG

Slick greens and some near-impossible pin positions were the
main causes for the 76.09 scoring average by the field in the
first round, fifth highest at the Masters. The highest ever was
78.56 in the third round in 1956....Ben Crenshaw finished 45th
despite a tournament-low 111 putts. He ranked last in greens hit
in regulation among the 46 players who made the cut....It was a
tough week for last year's major winners. Nick Faldo (Masters),
Steve Jones (U.S. Open) and Mark Brooks (PGA) all had a round in
the 80s and missed the cut. British Open champion Tom Lehman,
after barely making the cut with scores of 73 and 76, had a pair
of 69s on the weekend and finished 12th....Oldest eagle makers:
Charles Coody, 59, eagled the par-5 13th hole in the second
round, while Jack Nicklaus, 57, the alltime Masters eagle
leader, with 22, added two more, at the 15th hole in the second
round and at the 8th on Sunday....The World Golf Village outside
St. Augustine, Fla., the site of golf's new, consolidated World
Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, has asked Nicklaus and Arnold
Palmer to codesign a course. The collaboration would be their
first....Tiger Woods is taking the next three weeks off. He will
return to the Tour for the Houston Open, at The Woodlands.

COLOR ILLUSTRATION: FRED HARPER [Drawing of Jose Maria Olazabal, Elton John, Nick Faldo, Kerri Strug, Dennis Rodman, Tiger Woods, Bill Clinton and Greg Norman on golf course] COLOR PHOTO: LENNY IGNELZI/AP PHOTO [Corey Pavin golfing out of stream]

MASTERS DISASTERS

During last Friday's second round, John Huston (left) was four
under par and a stroke out of the lead when he played his third
shot, a short pitch over Rae's Creek, on the par-5 13th. Huston
plopped his ball into the drink and, after hitting a second ball
into the hazard, wound up with a 10, tied for the sixth-highest
score on any hole in Masters history (until Sunday, when Ben
Crenshaw made an 11 on the 15th). Here's the reverse-ringer
card--the worst scores at each hole--for the Masters and the
players who most recently contributed to it.

Hole Par Score Player Year

1 4 7 13 players 1997
Loren Roberts

2 5 10 Sam Byrd 1948

3 4 8 Doug Clarke 1980

4 4 7 2 players 1982
Nathaniel Crosby

5 4 8 3 players 1964
Jerry Barber

6 3 7 2 players 1997
Arnold Palmer

7 4 8 2 players 1981
Richard L. von Tacky Jr.

8 5 12 Frank Walsh 1935

9 4 8 2 players 1963
Richard Davies

10 4 8 2 players 1984
Bill Hoffer

11 4 9 3 players 1980
Orville Moody

12 3 13 Tom Weiskopf 1980

13 5 13 Tommy Nakajima 1978

14 4 8 Nick Price 1993

15 5 11 2 players 1997
Ben Crenshaw

16 3 11 Herman Barron 1950

17 4 7 8 players 1995
Doug Ford

18 4 8 3 players 1995
Ian Baker-Finch

THE NUMBER

57
The times Nick Faldo and Greg Norman had played in the same
major without both of them missing the cut, which happened for
the first time last week at the Masters.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)