in my professional career, I would have notched my first tournament
win, but for a bizarre occurence in the final round. I had hired a local
caddie whose nickname was Four-One, derived from his skills with the
dice. A good guy and a fine caddie, who I would employ on numerous occasions
in the future. On the seventh hole, I'm looking at a birdie putt of
some twenty feet and decide I'd have a better chance of making the putt
with the flagstick left in the hole. My caddie duly attends the pin,
then, as I start the ball rolling, Four-One attempts to remove the flag
in the normal manner, only to find that he can't get it out of the hole!
In desperation, Four-one gives the flagstick a great heave, where upon
the entire cup comes out of the ground just as the ball arrives, striking
the metal cylinder dead center! The rebound plus my penalty turns my
almost certain birdie into a double-bogey five, which puts me into a
playoff with two fellow professionals, where I proceed to lose by a
substantial margin. Five tournaments later, I win my first professional
tournament, the U. S. Open!"
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