Not good enough, Hubie Green and your brand-new U.S. Open crown. You neither, Al Geiberger and your record 59 of two weeks ago. The caddies, costars of the 74th Western Open commencing today at the Butler National course in Oak Brook, Ill, passed you up and "drafted" Tom Watson No. 1.
This is the PGA tour stop at which proceeds accrue to the Evans Scholarship Foundation to put needy caddies through college, and outstanding caddies from Chicago-area clubs carry the bags for the competitiors while prototers take the week off. The Western caddies choose their players through a blind draw, and Jim Costello, 17, came up with No. 1 in the lottery.
Elementary, said he, he'll take Watson, the Masters champion, leading 1977 money winner - and a man whose first tour triumph was the 1974 Western. Surprise, second pick was Johnny Miller. Geiberger - defending champion who tipped his caddy $2,000 after his $40,000 victory in the '76 Western - was taken third and Green fourth.
Weird reasoning by the San Diego Padres, playing games with a career at stake. The club put 1976 Cy Young award winner Randy Jones on disability for 21 days, upon which the team physician, Dr. Paul Bauer, said yesterday, "I recommended putting him on the disabled list before this. But there wasn't anybody pitching that well to bring up to replace him until now." Now, righthander Dave Freisleben, coming off a shutout for a 4-4 Pacific Coast League record, has been recalled; so lefty Jones can take his 4-7 W-L, 4.61 ERA and arm still not right, apparently, after offseason surgery, away for rest and rehabilitation.
No surprise here, commissioner Bowie Kuhn declares Charlie Finley's incentive bonus plan to reward his Oakland A's for such deeds as four-for-four batting games and low-hit pitching gems is contrary to baseball rules - "Improper, and Finley know that." Kuhn and American League president Lee MacPhail acknowledge an owner can tear up a contract and upgrade it on the spur of the moment - but, MacPhail emphasized, "You cannot establish a rate beforehand," as Finley has. What's wrong with incentive payments? One example from Kuhn's office: A hitter has gone three for three, now comes up in the ninth inning in a sacrifice situation; will he conveniently "miss" the bunt sign and swing away for that fourth hit? . . .
The Milwaukee Brewers say it was a misunderstanding and "Sundown Kid" Danny Thomas of the World Wide Church of God will not be ordered to play on his sabbath for the Spokane farm club, just will be docked a day's pay for each day he doesn't show up to play . . . Straightening out a couple more things, the WWDC-Hyattsville AC softball doubleheader in Riverdale to benefit the late David McDevitt's survivors is Monday evening. And the error in Jack Nicklaus' U.S. Open line in Monday's paper was in his fourth-round score. He finished 72 (not 71) for 285 and $4,100 . . . The New York Mets' chairman, M. Donald Grant, visited Shea Stadium last night for the first time since trading away Tom Seaver and Met veep Jim Thompson admitted security at the park was beefed up for the occasion - "the pulse of the people lately" so dictated . . .
Five boxers have sued ABC-TV for $5 million apiece in Manhattan Supreme Court, claiming "economic suffering" because the network suspende the Don King-promoted U.S. Boxing Championships after they advanced to the semifinals. King was not named a defendant by Edwin Viruet, Alvin Anderson, Bobby Cassidy, Ray Elson and Richie Kate . . .
Tony Galento is still fighting at 67. Old Two-Ton has suffered diabetes for years, and they amputated his left leg up to midcalf Tuesday in Newark, N.J. Six hours after the operation, Galento was talking about therapy, an artificial limb and starting to work at developing young Italian light-heavy-weights from Orange . . . George Foreman has completed a three-week fast, peeled off 29 pounds, and at 216 a shadow of his former self said in Houston, "I'm so removed from boxing I don't think I could shadow-box now. Not for all the money of the Rockefellers or the late J. Paul Getty would I go back to fighting" . . . But Derrik Holmes, one of Sugar Ray Leonard's Palmer Park stablemates with an illustrious 110-8 record in AAU, Golden Gloves and international amateur featherweight boxing, declares he is turning pro after acouple of exhibition two-rounders at Bowie Community Center at 8 p.m. Friday . . .