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July 17, 1981 - Image 16

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Michigan Daily, 1981-07-17

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Sports
Page 16 Friday, July 17, 1981 The Michigan Daily

4

Ex-'M'gridder ilja encounters
new game' in pro ball with L.A.
blocking technique: think I was fortunate to play with the accustomed to the pro atmosphere."
By RON POLLACK "In college ball, as opposed to pro other players on our (Michigan's) of- MALAVASI ALSO is pleased that
Daily sports writer ball, you can't extend your arms fully, fensive line, which helped me a lot. And Lilja has been working out in California
Secondinasix-partseries whereas in the pros, they want you to. the Rams do have one of the better of- with the Rams. "We feel it is to our ad-
This is the econd in a series of six That's called 'locking out.' I'm so used fensive lines in the league." vantage and his," he said. "It just puts
articles examining the attempts of to keeping my arms in that I'll just have To increase his chances of making him that much further ahead when he
. to get used to a new style. When you're the team, Lilja has been working out goes to training camp,"
recently-graduated Michigan foot going against pro defensive linemen, with the Rams for the last couple of One of the veterans that Lilja has had
ball players to make an NFL team, who have all kinds of moves, you just months. "I think it's helped me a lot," the opportunity to train with is Ram
their thoughts about the endeavor, have to adjust." 'said Lilja. "First of all, getting used to starting center Rich Saul, an All-Pro
and their new pro coach's analysis One thing that Lilja does not have to California and the facilities, and also performer for five consecutive years.
of their abilities and future in the learn as he enters pro ball is how to working with the veterans and getting "The thing that will help me about
make the long snap, according to Ram Rich is that I'll watch everything he
sport. The series was written by head coach Ray Malavasi. "If we know does," said Lilja, "He's been around for
Daily sports writer Ron Pollack. he's a long snapper, it will enhance his so long (11 years in the NFL), that he's
During his career at Michigan, center chances of making the club; and I think almost to the point of being flawless. If I
George Lilja was well-versed in the art one strength he does have is the ability can emulate him, it will make me a bet-
of blocking. In fact, he became so to make the long snap. The rest is just a ter player."
proficient in his encounters with enemy learning process." Although Lilja finds himself in new 4
defenders that in his final year as a ALTHOUGH LILJA may have to surroundings, with new teammates and
Wolverine, he not only earned All-Big make several adjustments in his game, new blocking techniques to learn, he
Ten honors, but also first-team All- one thing that won't change is the fact knows that the situation will not be
American recognition. that he will be surrounded by quality completely filled with unfamiliarity on-
So what happens when he takes his performers. This past season, Lilja ce his fellow Wolverine teammate, Mel
wares from Ann Arbor to Los Angeles played on what was considered by Owens, the Rams' first-round draft
to join the Rams? They change the many to be one of the better offensive choice, signs a contract and joins the
rules on him and inform him that he has lines in the country. Such is the squad.
to learn how to play the game their situation that Lilja will find with a Losy "I thnkin a way, it does help since
way. Angeles offensive line that rates among you're moving into a new situation,"
"THE TYPE OF football played in the best in the NFL. said Lilja. "So when I talk about the
the pros, as far as technique goes, is a "It can't help but help you," said Diag, no one would understand. But
lot different than in college," said Lilja, Lilja. "Just the intensity of the players having Mel around, I have someone I
the Ram's fourth round draft choice. next to you.. . just the striving to stay Lila can relate to.'
"I'll have to learn an entirely new with them, and them to stay with you. I ,..,learning to block-again TOMORROW: JOHN WANGLER
Unknowns lead open;
Nicklaus shoots 83
SANDWICH, England (AP)-Obscure long-shots Vicente Fernandez of Argen-
tina and Nick Job of England matched par 70s for the lead, while Jack Nicklaus fell w
victim to the worst score of his pro career-an 83-in the first round of the British
Open Golf Championship.
Nicklaus struggled to a 13-over-par round through chilly winds and driving rain
squalls on the 6,829-yard Royal St. George's Golf Club links.
"I JUST DIDN'T play very well," said the man who has won an unparalleled 17
major professional titles and has written his name in golf's record books as the
finest player the ancient game has known.
He steadfastly denied that an auto accident in which his son, Steve, was involved
had any bearing on his performance.
"No, no, not at all," he said. "He got a scratch. Fell asleep. Had a couple of
beers."
Nicklaus was the chief casualty in a strange drama that produced some of the
highest scoring in recent history of this, one of the world's four major tests of
golfing greatness.
IT WAS THE first time since World War II that no one had broken par in the first
round.
The only two to match par on the course laid out on a peninsula jutting into the
English channel were Job, 31, who has yet to win on the European tour, and Fer-
nandez, who once lost his playing rights for poor performances on the American
tour.
Johnny Miller, a former British Open champion and twice a winner in the Uniteds-
States this year, birdied the final hole for a 71 that left him one stroke off the pace. r
ALSO AT THAT figure were U.S. Amateur champion Hal Sutton, Australian
David Graham, who recently won the U.S. Open, Isao Aoki of Japan, Tony Jacklin
of England and Simon Owen of New Zealand, runner-up to Nicklaus in the 1979
British Open.
The group at 72 included Bill Rogers, Australian Greg Norman, and Arnold
Palmer, the 51-year-old great who won the U.S. Senior's title earlier this week.
Tom Watson, the defending champion, current Masters titleholder and the out-
standing player in the game for the past few years, had to rally from a first-hole
double bogey that could have been worse.
He drove into deep rough, moved it only 80 yards on his next shot, took four to
reach the green and two-putted. AP Photo
But he shook it off and came in with a 73 that left him in contention for a fourth THE LOOK ON his face says it all, as Jack Nicklaus misses a putt at the 18th
British Open title. hole for an appropriate finish to his round of 83 yesterday at the British
Open.

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