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June 27, 1961 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1961-06-27

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'rE EIGH'T'

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

TUESDAY, J1

K EIGHT THE MIChIGAN DAILY TUESDAY, 3

Littler

Wins

Open

with

Lute

a lly

DISTRICT PLAYOFFS:
Tolverines Fall
To Bronco Nine

By MIKE BURNS
Co-Editor
Special To The Daily

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RECORD CROWDS-The 47,975 fans who watched the 1961 National Open broke the old record for
attendance. The battle of man against par proved to be an exciting spectacle, one which provided
many thrills and displays of top-notch golf. Here the galleries line the first tee where Ben Hogan,
Billy Casper and William Hyndman are set to play.I

BIRMINGHAM-The 61St Na- specft G ft eial To The Daily
.bktM~i~.x11~i1-1e UbL ~.~ heIl/lt h l' (~I~fI7 Iright w~here it left off, with~ two
tional Open is history and the qY W 04Great pitching, a rash of bad
champ is red-haired 30-year-old Geat wichgarashtofjbsd out, Bill Freehan and Halstead on
Gene Littler who plays out of By MIKE BURNS 1 oneentscand two post- base and Ed Hood at bat. Bob
El ajo, Cl.pon ements,antw extra-inning Hamet stifled the rally, however,
El Cajon, Cal. m t h egames featured the NCAA District and an inning later the Wolver-
Littler, who came to the lead Four playoffs held here which ines were playit their second ex-
on the last seven holes when lead- finally ended on June 3.
theDougnallyeendedlonrJuneithtra-inning fracas of the series.
er Doug Sanders faltered with ;W/o W on tWestern Michigan, which had
bogies on the 64th and 66th holes, beaen ichgantusedaspbfor Michigan threatened repeatedly
bogis o th 64h an 66h hles |-beaten Michigan just days before in almost every inning but couldn't
pocketed $14,000 for his efforts the playoffs were scheduled to be- saotwhile Fisher held the Bron-
to triple his earnings for this year. The answer to this simple question seems obvious. Why Gene gin, turned the trick again, but it cos well in check.
His best finish before his Open ite anse tti lwquestise bus.0h ane took them two days and fourteen csweli1cek
triumph had been a fourth place Littler, of course. He shot the low score, picked up the $14.000 and innings to do it this time. Fatal 14th
in .the Colonial Open. the trophy and had his picture spread across the nation's sports Nevertheless, by defeating the However, in the WMU half of
The new champ had never been pages. Wolverines 4-3, the Broncos the 14th, Fisher gave up two sin-
mentioned as a contender until the The 30-year-old San Diego pro, with the Southwestern drawl, earned the right to represent the gles, thte latter on a bunt, and
last nine holes as previous lead- cannot be denied the glory of besting the top-rate field of amateurs district in the College World Series found himself in trouble.hAfter a
er Bob Goalby came in with a and professionals from all over the U.S. His performance included in Omaha. sacrifice bunt retired the first
two-over-par 282 for the 72 hole four rounds of excellent golf that was better than any other com- Six Miscues bases to get at the pitcher.
event and Sanders had folded. A petitor. He did it after never leading until the last seven holes, and The way the Wolverines started b But Hamet rase to theroccasion
birdie on the 11th hole of the he cooly came through when other leaders faltered. out in the playoffs, it looked as if and sent a long fly ball to the
final round and a par on 12, put But somehow the real champion, the conqueror of the field was they would never reach the finals, outfield, long enough for the run-
Littler out in front to stay. the revamped version of "The Monster," the not-so-affectionate as the usually reliable Michigan ner at third to sprint home with
Bogey Wins appellation given to the 6,907 yard stretch of golfer's hell, the Oak- ifield committed six errors to the winning run.
But he won the tourney with a land Hills course 10 years ago. For it was in 1951 that the USGA "give" Cincinnati a 3-1 victory. Thus Western Michigan, which
bogey-five on the last hole when Mike Joyce, the Wolverine sop had hosted the first College World
his ball landed in the sand. San- chose Oakland Hills for the third time to host the Open. Robert Trent more who, in his first year of var- Series, went to Omaha as the
ders, still out on e t course, had Jones fiendishly remodeled ("modernized" he called it) the course to sity competition became the work-' District Four representative, but
a chance to catch him with a play at 6,927 yards and par 70. Ben Hogan won the event in 287, horse of the pitching staff, allow'~ed the Broncos were eliminated in the
birdie on either of the last two seven swigs over the standard, with a closing 67 which he later but four hits n the ten inning third round as Southern California
holes but couldn't. , termed his greatest round of golf. affair and nary an earned run, but became the first team In history
Littler's accomplishment was a When the old-timers returned to Birmingham, they found a course the mishaps proved costly. to win three titles and the third
fulfillment of the promise he show- with shorter cut rough, fewer traps and shorted distances. Practice Cincinnati's chief claim to fame to go undefeated in series play.
ed as a rookie pro in 1953 when rounds went below par 70 more than a few times. There were jest- was a righthanded hurler by the The Broncos' only win of the
he lost a tie for the Open title by ing protests by the touring pros before the tourney began that "they've name of Bill Faul. Faul, who sports series was an 8-2 victory over
one stroke. Since that time he taken the fangs out of the Monster." They were in for a shock. tive fastball, brought with him an Texas.
had never done well in the big Gene Littler's total it is true was six strokes better than Hogan's average of 15 strikeouts per game. title, whipped Texas 8-6, Boston
one, until this year. He attributed 1951 score. But it was still one over par, one more than the USGA Whiffs 14 College 12-3, Oklahoma State 4-2,
part of his success toa tip given figured was a legitimate number of strokes to take to play the course. Faul didn't strike out 15 Wolver- oston Col gai 4-inten
Kroll just before the Open began. It probably wont happen again this year that a total score above ines, but he did whiff 14 while inning, and Oklahoma State again
' New S h n par will win a tournament. And yet the Open featured the finest ar- allowing but Ave hits to notch the in a game which decided the
"He told me I should swing more ray of golfers to play in any event this year. victory for the Bearcats. championship, 1-0.
upright, Littler said. The 57 linksmen taking the full tour of four rounds had only 18 Western .Michigan, meanwhile, Fowler MVP
The pre-tourney favorites Arnold (of 228) rounds that broke the par barrier. Littler himself managed won its opening round game from Oklahoma State's Littleton Fow-
Palmer and Gary Played were two of those rounds and no other competitorwas able to pair sub-par Detroit. The score was identical ler, a sophomore hurler, was voted
among the also-rans and Slam- cards. to the Bearcat-Wolverine outcome the series' most valuable player.
min' Sammy Snead finished down So much for the bare statistics. The Oakland Hills courseM gn ss.nBefore ginuthe only run of
the list to fail in his ?th attempt emerged as the master in other ways as well. The big green score- Michigan resumed its winning the championship game to SC, he
to win the Open. Ben Hogan, who boards posted around the course kept spectators informed as to how ways the following days, eliminat- had pitched 183consecutive
plays only, a few championships the top players stood hole-by-hole. ing Detroit's Titans 6-3 on the scoreless innings.
combined pitching of Fritz Fisher Michigan finished with a 21-11
every year, failed to make the top Many names were scarcely on the boards over two or three holes and Joyce and the hitting of Jim rec-rd and a cry of "wait 'till next
ten for the first time since 1939 before the signs would change from "1 over" to "4 over" and the Steckley and John Halstead. year!" Most of the team, including
and so will have to qualify for lead would change once again. Fisher hurled the first 6% inn- Joyce and Fisher, its two top
next year's event in order to play. Then there were the golfers jockeying for the top spot. The first ings for the Wolverines to pick up hurlers, will return next year.
The 49-year-old Texan has played day it was bespectacled, unassuming Bobby Brue from Menominee the win, while Steckley knocked Missed, however, will be All-
in every Open since 1939 except Falls, Wis. His 69 was the only sub-par 18 hole card for the opening across three tallies and Halstead American Freehan, who signed a
for 1949 and 1957. Many observers day. The fast-striding, cautiously-shooting Brue had virtually no fol- contributed another with a home bonus contract with the Detroit
feel he wil not bother toal lowers until the last three holes when word came in that this unknown run. Tigers.
for next year's tourney aft lwrautltelattrehoekhn=odcm i httisukonJoyce Busy
mont (Pa.). was beating the field.
The crowds followed Brue fnr the end da bt chp faded Joyce's 6% inning relief stint

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FORD FRANTICS-Doug Ford
was hot on the heels of the lead-
ers throughout the tourney but
never could overtake them as he
finished in a tie for sixth. Here
he does a dance as a putt drops
on the eighth hole.

TO THE VICTOR-Gene Littler smiles a $14,000 grin after cap-
turing the National Open title with a red-hot putter and steady
play. His total was 281 for the 72 holes at the tightly trapped
Oakland Hills Country Club.

Souchak Fails
The Open was another disap-
pointment to husky Mike Souchak,
who played with shots of anti-
biotics in him to combat a virus.
He held the lead going into the
last round but blew up when he
hit several traps. Amateur camera-
men also upset him as he finished
in a tie for fourth. Last year he
held the lead until the last round
when he soared to a 75 and Pal-
mer copped the trophy.
Tying Souchak for fourth was
the top amateur threat to the
pro's supremacy in the Open, Jack.
Nicklaus. Nicklaus lost the title
last year by one stroke but 'this
year had to play the last 36 holes
in even par to win low amateur
honors. The blond Ohio State
collegian a week later won the
NCAA championship.

-tcuvu U1wunu r s ut en uy, u as Ie '~e
they picked up the veteran pro Bob Rosberg and handsome Doug
Sanders who were tied at the end of 36 holes for the lead. And Mr.
Brue found himself playing as he had started, with few supporters.
The final day was upsetting for the fickle crowd of over 20,000, as
four or five players held leads at one time or another.
And when the throng heard that Littler had the lead at the 65th
hole, it rushed out to escort him in. Sanders lost part of his crowd
as the lead slipped from his grasp. The course was killing the best of
them. Bogies were felling the leaders; pars were catching them.
But perhaps the most apt illustration that the Monster had
triumphed was Gene Littler's play on the last hole, 'a difficult, long
par four. When his second shot hit in a trap in front of the green,
Littler admitted he played it safe, just trying to get down in bogey
five fashion. He knew that Sanders would have to birdie one of his
last two holes to tie for the title.
Now for a top-flight pro to birdie one of two holes generally is
not the hardest thing in the world but Littler played the odds right.
Sanders' ball rimmed the cup on his birdie putt on 17 and his birdie
chip shot on the last hole skittered by the pin by inches. Sanders
could not overcome the course, nor Littler's one-over-par lead.
To Gene Littler for his steady play belongs the laurels due a
champion. But in a larger sense it was the green hills of nature who
had triumphed: Oakland Hills' par 280 had not been broken. No one
personality emerged as the conqueror, as Ben Hogan had in 1951. As
the fans shifted with the players scores from one group to another it
was a frequently heard remark, "Boy, I don't see how they can do it!"
The Monster just grinned its 113 mouths of sand and said to itself,
"They can't!"

gave the young rightbander a total
of 121/3 innings of work in two
days.
The Broncos, knee-deep in pitch-
ing, whipped Cincinnati 8-1.
The following day, May 31, saw
the Wolverines eliminate Cincin-
nati with a 2-1 victory over the
Bearcats.
Faul pitched another fine game
for Cinmnnati, whiffing ten and
allowing only five hits, but Wol-
verine Dennis McGinn matched
his performance with a five-hitter
for the route-going win.
Rained Out
The Wolverines were scheduled
to meet Western Michigan in the
second game of that twin bill, but
rain forced a postponement in the
second inning with the Broncos
leading 1-0.
The two remaining teams were
at it again the following day, bud
with the Wolverines batting in the
bottom of the eighth inning and
the score tied, the skies erupted
and the tussle was called off for a
second time.
However, when play resumed two
days later, the action picked up

Detroit
New York
Cleveland
Boston
Chicago
Baltimore
Kansas City
Washington
Minnesoa
Los Angeles

W
45
43
41
36
36
36
29
30
26
25

L
24
25
30
33
34
34
38
40
43
46

Pet.
.652
.632
.577
.522
.514
.514
.433
.429
.377-
.352

W~~r League
Standings
AMERICAN LEAGUE

GB
1%
5
9
9%
91
15
19
21

FORMER CHAMPS-Arnold Palmer (left) and Ben Hogan discuss
the Open course as the tournament begins. The course proved a
rough one for both of them as defending champion Palmer and
four-time champion Hogan both toured the course in 289, eight
behind Gene Littler.

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YESTERDAY'S RESULTS
New York at Los Angeles (inc.)
Only game scheduled
TODAY'S GAMES
Chicago at Detroit (2-tn)
Boston at Minnesota (2-tn)
Baltimore at Kansas City (2-tn)
New York at Los Angeles (it)
Washington at Cleveland (n)
NATIONAL LEAGUE
W L Pet. GB
Cincinnati 43 25 .632 -
Los Angeles 41 29 .586 3
San Francisco 38 30 .559 5
Pittsburgh 33 3 .524 712
Milwaukee 31 32 '.492 9x/
St. Louis 30 36 .455 12
Chicago 25 40 .385 16
Philadelphia 22 41 .349 18
YESTERDAY'S RESULTS
Philadelphia 1, San Francisco 0
Milwaukee 9, St. Louis 6
TODAY'S GAMES
San Francisco. at Philadelphia (n)
Los Angeles at Pittsburgh (n)
Cincinnati at Chicago
Milwaukee at St. Louis (n)
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4
WLD'
Aye, Aye, Sir
SHORT SLEEVE
DRESS SHIRTS
are in command
Short of formal festivities, all
sartorial situations are under
control when a gentleman ap-
pears in our new batiste ox-
ford shirts. They're as cool as
a dip in the deep!
$500

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TOP HAT-Kel Nagle, British
Open champion, holds on to his
straw hat which he wore
throughout the tournament as
a gust of wind stirs up. Nagle
finished nine strokes off the
pace with two poor rounds the
last day.

4

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DAILY

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