Chi Chi Rodriguez had a dandy first round in golf's $500,000 Mixed Team Classic, he and partner Lynn Adams, after which Rodriguez said, "I want to win again. I made $7,000 on the tour and spent $100,000. The IRS man sent me a get-well card."
Hyperbole, sure, but Rodriguez, 47, credited getting back into shape, via workouts and running, for his performance yesterday at Bardmoor in Largo, Fla., where he and Adams tied Leonard Thompson-Carole Charbonnier for first at 65, seven under par. Four dozen are competing on the 7,015-yard course in PGA-LPGA duos, alternating shots after picking their preferred tee shot.
So, Arnie Palmer, the Fountain of Youth isn't dry yet. Palmer, 53, was saying just Sunday in Palm Beach Gardens, after folding out of the PGA Seniors Championship lead with a 76, "If I play golf much longer like this, I'll quit . . . If I don't play well starting off the beginning of the year, I'll think about greatly curtailing my playing time."
That sounded drastic, unless you heard the rest of his glum appraisal: "I hit some pretty bad shots out there. I hit a horrendous iron shot at No. 7. That's when I started wondering what I was doing out there." And that's when we decided Palmer sounded just like every other golfer in the world, until next time at No. 1 tee . . .
PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman reports that tour assets have grown to $14.6 million, and 74 events in 1983 will pay more than $22 million in prize money. That includes the new satellite tour (for which Woodmont's Gary Marlowe recently qualified), which will include a Greater Baltimore Classic July 21-24 at Hillendale.