Bob Clampett, 19, one of the United States' top young amateur golfers, was taken off the U.S. Open course after the 12th hole today by furious U.S. Golf Association officials because of repeated antics that included teeing off from his knees and putting between his legs.
Clampett missed the Open cut here at Inverness by two strokes Friday. But since the field had an odd number of players, a top amateur was needed to provide company for pro Dave Edwards, the first man off the tee at 10.28 a.m.
Clampett, from Carmetl, Calif., requested Saturday night to be allowed to be that player. To be chosen usually is considered an honor for a young player.
"bob was there to give Edwards a normal pace of play and to provide companionship," saidUSGA President **sandy Tatum. "he was not put there to give a trick-shot exhibition or to do Indian dances on the greens and putt between his legs, backhanded and with his wedge.
"campett's conduct was so far beyond the line of proper behavior in an Open that we had to pull him off the course," Tatum said. "afterwards, he kept saying how sorry he was , that he just got carried away and that his caddy and the crowd were egging him on.
"i told him that he could not possibly be as sorry as I was. I hope this will have no further repercussions except that young Bob will have learned a very painful lesson."
Clampett, who will be a junior this year at Brigham Young University, was the low amateur at the '78 Open in Denver and has represented the U.S. in the World Cup. He is considered an extremely conservative, even "square" young man, who always has been enormously dedicated to golf.
But he wasn't today.
After Edwards drove off the first tee, Clam pett got down on both knees and hit a 240 yard trick shot down the center of the fairway.
"i was as shocked as anyone else," said Edwards. "he was the one who had asked me if he could play with me. I was even more surprised when I got to my drive. He was only 10 yards behind me."
Clampett offered Edwards no explanation for his continued clowning and, after a severe locker room dressing down from Tatum, left the Inverness Club before he could be reached for comment. His actions, however, spoke rather loudly.
Several USGA officials saw the knees shot at No.1 and before Clampett recached the third hole "we had gotten a commitment from him that he wouldn't misbehave again," said a USGA official, Pete Schaibel.
However, this has been a bad week for the USGA trying to maintain its customary grimfaced discipline. Players have continued to hit drives around the now-famous Hinkle Spruce at the eighth hole in the last three rounds.
Thursday, when Clampett came to the first tee, his playing partners - Fuzzy Zoeller and John Mahaffey - were dredded identically in red shirts, black pants and white shoes. They prodded Clampett into donning an identical outfit so that the trio looked like a dance team.
Friday, with Clampett in attendance, some prankster put a live raccoon in one of the locker room toilets. Zoeller became the first Masters champ to set a PGA sitting broad jump record as he and the raccoon fled from each other in opposite directions.
Against this background of high jinx it is perhaps lessd difficult to understand how Clampett could begin dancing and running on the front-nine greens, stamping putts between his legs, backhanded and with his wedge. He even pretended to plumb-bob a bunker shot, causing more gallery laughter.
"he just had a big smile on his face like a kid showing off," said Schaibel. "he may have thought it was a joke, but let me tell you, he made some people hopping mad.
"no one in the USGA is appreciative ofhis behavior and I'm sure that will be a factor when we choose amateurs for future international teams."
Clampett had been upset at the USGA earlier this year when it refused him permission to travel to Scoland a day late to participate in the Walker Cup. Clampett was unable to leave earlier because of a commitment to play in the NCAA championships, and had he arrived a day late all he would have missed was a practice session.
Clampett insured that he would be the first man to get cut twice in the same Open when he got back down on his knees to hit his tee shots at the 10th and 11th. The net results of his goofy shots: two in the fairway, one in the rough - two pars and one bogey.
USGA official P. J. Boatwright approached Clampett after the 12the hole and Clampett asked to be allowed to continue.
"boatwright told him that it was too late for promises," Schaibel said."clampett said, 'okay, if that's the way you feel about it.'"
The tournament's director, Jim Hand, escorted Clampett off the course.
"no player has ever been taken off an Open course before," said Tatum. "we hadn't intended to, but, finally, we just had to. This was so far beyond the line of what is permissible that we didn't even have to worry about where the lines are."
"that young fella sure got a royal chewing out from the boss himself... Mr. Tatum," said the security guard at the Inverness locker room. "the boy looked real cresfallen and ashamed, like he hadn't known what he was getting himself in for."
"bob Clampett has the talent to become a great player, but he is going to need the respect and cooperation of a lot of people to fulfill his potential," said Tatum. "this will not help him. I just wish we hadn't had to suffer through this with him."
Clampett, who grew up in well-to-do Carmel Valley near Pebble Beach, Calif., comes from a family with several Hollywood connections - relatives who were script writers and stuntmen. One uncle gave the family name to the lead character, Jed Clampett, in the TV show "beverly Hillbillies." Clampett is known among fellow players as an extreme cleanliver.
"bob didn't bother my game and he wasn't slowing up play," said Edwards, who was not critical of Clampett's antics. "having him along was different, I'll say that. It's not like he wasn't there, that's for sure. He just looked like he was having a real good time, not paying too much attention to what he was doing.
"he asked me after the 11th hole if he was bothering me, and I told him, 'no'"
What did Edwards do on the 13th hole after he no longer had Clampett's company?
"well," he said, "i made an eagle,"