To The Moon, Alliss, To The Moon
athlete lucas glover u.s. open champion
• Achieve forwArd roll fAster for
A truer line.
• trAditionAl steel feel with insert-
• Polymetal Groove technoloGy works with loft
confiGuration to imPart forward roll faster than
milled steel or inserts alone.
• milled steel face Provides Precise feedback.
Polymer midsert delivers soft, damPened feel.
Pebble Beach hadn’t exactly become the course-de-jour for majors, but suddenly the golf organizations, with their East Coast thinking, realized there was this place on the bluffs above Carmel Bay
that might be a decent place for a tournament.
The U.S. Open finally made it to Pebble in
1972, and then the PGA of America showed up
in 1977, the first time its championship had been
in California in almost 50 years.
Lanny Wadkins was the winner, his only
major. Or, in sad truth, Gene Littler was the loser. It would have been a great
story, sort of like Tom Watson in the 2009 British Open,
if subtracting a few years.
However, it never came to be.
Littler, then 47, played
wonderfully to lead for the
first three rounds, but age
and Wadkins, five shots behind,
caught Gene on the back nine.
After the two tied at 8-un-
der-par 282, a shot ahead of
Jack Nicklaus, Wadkins won
the first sudden-death playoff
ever employed in a major with
a birdie on the third extra hole.
The PGA hasn’t been back since, and perhaps
neither has Peter Alliss, the Englishman who
then was commenting for the network that
televised the tournament in the United States.
Alliss and Ben Wright had been invited to
dinner at the home of a Pebble Beach couple
after the third round, which because of the
three-hour time differential from the East
finished around 3 p.m.
By Art Spander
What Alliss did before arriving at the home
several hours later – dinner was at 7:30 p.m. –
is open to speculation, but shortly before the
meal was served he grew angry with America.
Sort of a prelude to his irritation after the 1999
Ryder Cup, when he described our winning side
One debate led to another, and the next
thing anyone knew, Alliss was telling the other
guests, in effect, “How dare you talk about what
you don’t know. You people never got bombed
during World War II. You don’t have a clue what
After Wright served as a peace-keeper, Alliss
was reminded about Pearl Harbor and also the fact
that thousands of U.S. servicemen died fighting
for freedom in Europe and the Pacific.
Whether it was apocryphal or actual, the
story appeared the next day and an apologetic
Alliss, unsure of the address of the hostess, sent
flowers to every home on the block.
What is certain is Pebble’s par- 5 14th was
every bit as difficult and frustrating in 1977 as it
became during the recent U.S. Open, when Paul
Casey took a triple-bogey eight.
In the 1977 PGA, Gary Campbell, a fine fellow
who then was an assistant pro at San Francisco’s Olympic Club, took a whole bundle of
putts on the 14th green and shot something
in the low 90s.
A couple of journalists, one (ahem) who was
friends with Campbell, started telling themselves they could break 90 at Pebble, which,
with high rough and set up for a major, would
have been impossible. They verified that by
going out Monday after the tournament and
failing to break 100.
001 002 003
skid zone results
get spec’d in the oven at: