Holy Toledo, who put the raccoon in the toilet?

Who let the impostor on the back nine? Who planted the Hinkleberry tree? Who let Bob Clampett tee off on his knees? Who drove his ball off a pencil?

For that matter, who lost Gary Player's ball in the rough? Who saw Tom Watson shoot Red Grange?

Above all, who told a guy who wears braces and endorses athlete's foot ointment that he could hit the ball sideways all day and still lead the U.S. Open by five shots with two holes to play?

Without doubt, the 79th U.S. Open at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, will be remembered for its goofiness, which was vintage, more than its golf, which was often vile.

This tournament deserved a champion who said, "My only strategy on the closing holes was to advance it, find it and hit again. I was lost out there."

What would you expect champion Hale Irwin to do with his $50,000 winner's check?

"It ought ot just about take care of my dental bills," said Irwin. "I finally got tired of taking a bite out of a roast beef sandwhich and having it land in my lap.

"Right now," added Irwin in his hour of triumph, "I'd settle for a full tank of gas."

This Open will be remembered for its marvelous incongruities.

A nonentrant sneaked onto the 10th tee during a practice round and played the entire back nine without being caught. "Shhhhhh, don't tell," Wayne Levi, the pro paired with the fraud, whispered to his gallery.

But Sunday an authentic player-amateur Bob Clampett, who was asked to fill out a twosome-was thrown of the course for having too much fun: driving from his knees and dancing on the greens like some Inverness clown.

Perhaps it was a proper irony that this Open's most crucial hole should turn out to be the maligned No. 8-the site of the transplanted spruce that was meant to close the notorious Hinkle shortcut.

"Pars are made by fools like me, but only the USGA can make a tree," said pro Lon Hinkle (with some prompting).

Fittingly, Irwin should have lost a ball, and perhaps two strokes with it, when his coventionally played drive at the eighth was headed out of bounds Sunday.

The ball was kicked back into the fairway by a tree-who says they don't stick together?

Irwin, who minutes later hit the flag stick for a pure-luck birdie at that hole, accidentally saved strokes. Runner-up Gary Player was penalized through little fault o f his own.

Hackers on a weekend round accept lost balls in the rough as part of divine punishment for the original golfing sin-the slice.

On the other hand, pros feel, with valid reason, that they should never lose a ball within scores of marshals, spotters and forecaddys on hand.

Yet on Friday, Player lost a ball, and consequently a stroke-and-distance penalty cost him at least one stroke and perhaps two, when careless marshals-a half dozen of them-never saw his drive land.

It is conceivable, though highly speculative that Player lost a chance for the Double Grand Slam that he wants so badly because a purely routine driver never was found just a few paces from the fairway.

Seldom has a week of golf been so thoroughly bizarre. Tom Watson, winner of three of his previous five tournaments, missed the cut. "I shot a Red Grange-77," said Watson for an exit line.

Watson's departure-he has the longest streak of making cuts in PGA tour events-brought to light a strange statistic.

In the last seven Opens, only two players have been in the top four more than twice-Tom Weiskopf a remarkable five times and Irwin four. Watson never has been in the top four in any Open.

Amidst all thsi comedy and controversy, it was easy to misplace Irwin. After all, when Masters champion Fuzzy Zoeller sits on a toilet that contains a prankster's live raccoon, it is not difficult to overlook the deeds of a man who wears thick glasses and seldom smiles.

Nevertheless, Irwin gave a performance worthy of that exclusive club of two-time Open champs, that 14-member fraternity whose motto has always been: "Anybody can win the Open once, but only the great can win it twice."

"There are two ways to feel proud of yourself after a round of golf," Irwin said. "When you play well-that's skill. And when you play terribly and score well anyway-that's character."

Many will overlook the fact that during Sunday's first 16 holes-when the Open was still on the line-Irwin was only one over par, despite hitting eight wild drives from the fifth through the 14th holes.

Irwin, unlike many another man in Open history, never came unglued while the money was still on the table. Ask Sam Snead, who never won an Open, if that is easy.

"My lord, look at that man," said Player, watching on television in the Inverness clubhouse as Irwin blasted a brilliant sand shot to 18 inches at the 15th. "What a marvelous shot, and all anyone is talking about is his mistakes. He's showing twice the fortitude of a man who's playing well."