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July 18, 1980 - Image 16

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Michigan Daily, 1980-07-18

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Page 16-Friday, July 18, 1980-The Michigan Daily
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Groves grabs early lead in Open

Steve Groves battled surprisingly slow greens and
fired a two under par 69 yesterday to take the first
round lead in the 1980 $20,000 Michigan Open at the
University of Michigan Golf Course.
Looking over Groves' shoulder in second place, one
stroke behind are 1974 Open champ Lynn Janson of
Comstock Park and 20-year-old amateur Marc
Dingman of Milan.
THE WOLVERINES' John Morse, this year's
amateur champion, finished tied for fifth with a73.
With the hot sun bearing down on the course and
temperatures ranging in the mid-80's all day, it would
be assumed that the putting surfaces would be light-
ning quick, but this was not the case.
The reason for this was that the Ann Arbor area
was decked by a raging thunderstorm Wednesday
morning, which felled nearly 200 trees on the course
and drenched the fairways and greens.
HOWEVER, THESE conditions did not deter the
29-year-old assistant pro from Orchard Lake Country
Club from stroking a one under par front nine and a
similar tally on the back holes.
Karl Daiek of Battle Creek, Al Semrad of
Ludington, John Molenda of West Bloomfield and
amateur Gary Quitiquit of Plymouth share the

distinction of being deadlocked in third place with
idential scores of 71.
Buddy Whitten of Belmont, David Gilpin of Horton
and William Grooms of Detroit pulled into fourth
place with a 72.
EIGHT GOLFERS finished with 73 including Mor-
se, but the biggest surprise of the afternoon was
defending champion Randy Erskine. Erskine, who
has won the last three Opens in which he has com-
peted, struggled to a 74 for the afternoon and a tie for
"My entire game was lousy," said Erskine. "My
driving, chipping and putting was all bad so I con-
sider myself very lucky to have shot a 74."
Leader Groves expressed what the other golfer's
main complaint was about the round all
day-unusually slow greens.
"THE GREENS were true," said Groves. "But
they were much slower than in the past. I had a
couple of 30 foot putts that I had hit super hard and
they wound upa few feet short of the cup. The surface
here is a little higher than usual and it affects a
golfer's putting stroke.
"All in all, I had a good day. It was definitely not
my best driving round, but fortunately everything

Other golfers expressed their reactions to the
greens condition.
"I LIKE THE greens slow because it conforms with
my style of play," said young Dingman, a junior at
Eastern Michigan University.
"The putting surfaces were high and bushy but I
think they will quicken as the tournament
progresses," said Quitiquit.
"I agree that the greens were unusually high," con-
tinued Erskine. "But the players here should under-
stand that the greens cannot be cut for fear that they
may be lost due to the warm weather.
"THEY SHOULD quit their bellyaching and adjust
their game."
Janson played a smooth round, playing a one under
par back nine.
"Oh, I'm very happy with my game with the way it
went this afternoon," said the winner of the 1979
Michigan PGA Player of the Year award.
"My driving and putting was steady all through
this round and I can only hope that it keeps going
through the next three days."
Dingman was two under par going to the 18th hole,
but because of a tee shot that landed against a tree,
he was forced to dribble a shot unto the fairway. He
had to settle for a bogey and a tie for second place.



Watson, Trevino lead British Open

MUIRFIELD, Scotland (AP) - Lee
Trevino, who usually plays his best in
hot weather, defied biting cold, blustery
winds and driving rain for a three-
under-par 68 Thursday and a tie with
Tom Watson for the first-round lead in
the 109th British Open Golf Champion-
Trevino said he was unruffled by the
miserable playing conditions that
raked the Muirfield links and left most
of the international field of 151 golfers
dripping and shivering.
"I expect 'em," Trevino said of the
conditions. "I work on this tournament
mentally. I expect wind, rain and cold
weather here. I came prepared.
"Heck, you ought to see my suitcase.
Heaven save me if it ever turned warm
- I'd die.
I've got nothing cool to wear."
That was nothing to worry about on
this squally day.
Players went burrowing into layers of
sweaters and foul weather gear,
crouching in shivering discomfort un-
der their umbrellas while waiting their
turn to hit. Their pants-legs were
soaked to the knees. Some wore
stocking caps. Jack Nicklaus and
others pulled on mittens.
"It was the worst day to play in the
British Open since 1964," Nicklaus said.
"And, that was the worst day I ever
played in."
For Watson, it was almost business
as usual. He has a history of playing ex-
tremely well in extremely bad weather.
Maybe the best round he ever played
was a 69 - when the average score of
the field was 75 - in cold, wind and rain
in Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament last
"I can't explain it," said Watson, who
played in the absolute worst of yester-
day's weather. "I'd rather play in 85
degree temperatures in my shirt
sleeves. Maybe it's because I practice
in the cold a lot during the winter at
home in Kansas City. And it can get
cold in the winter at Kansas City."
Whatever the reason, Watson and
-Trevino -the two- leading money-

winners on the American tour this
season - shared a one-stroke advan-
tage over an international group of five
at 69.
They included three young Britons -
British PGA champ Nick Faldo, Ryder
Cup player Mark James and Glenn
Ralph - Vicente Fernandez of Argen-
tina and Jack Newton, the Australian
Open champion who took Watson to a
playoff for the 1975 British Open title.
Mark Hayes, who was the first man
off the tee, got his round of 70 on the
board before the weather really
reached its worst. He was tied with Ben
Crenshaw, a runner-up in each of the
last two British Opens, and two British
players, Sandy Lyle and Ken Brown.
The group at 71 included former U.S.
Open king Jerry Pate, Andy Bean,
Derrick Cooper of Great Britain and a
pair of South Africans, Mark McNulty
and Dale Hayes.
Nicklaus, who rejuvenated his slum-
ping career with a record-setting vic-
tory in the U.S. Open a month ago, had
some putting problems on his way to a
73 that left him five strokes back.
Ballesteros, the young Spaniard who
won the British Open in England last
year and added the Masters title this
spring, shot a 72 despite what he called
a continuing lack of confidence. "I'm
not playing well. It's hard to have con-
fidence when you're not playing well."
David Graham of Australia, the
current American PGA champion, shot
a 73.
Some other American scores: Tom
Weiskopf, Craig Stadler, Tom Kite and
Larry Nelson, 72; Don Bies and Orville
Moody, 73; Bruce Lietzke and Bob
Byman, 74; Bill Rogers 76; Hubert
Green and Johnny Miller, 77.
Although the playing conditions were
severe when he was on the course,
Trevino said the earlier players, such
as Watson and Nicklaus, had the worst
of it.
"We caught a consistent golf course,"
he said. "The earlier players were on a
golf course that changed on 'em all the

A key to his effort, Trevino said, was bogeyed two of the next three holes af-
a 10-foot par-saving putt on the first ter missing the greens. That put him
hole. "That gave me the confidence I back to even, but he reached the par-
needed," he said. five ninth in two and two-putted for bir-
He dropped a 15-footer on the third die, then played the back in 33.
and birdied the fifth from 20 feet, then



TOM WATSOM SMILES as he birdies the third hole in yesterday's British
Open. Watson finished with a total of 68 which tied him for the lead with
Lee Trevino after first round play.


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