Down The Fairways
By BILL FITTER
A COMMITTEE appointed to prepare for next
year's McWilliam's tournament is discussing
the possibility of qualifying rounds in each State before the event proper.
One lesson of this year's tournament was that the field of about 160 for the first two
rounds was unwieldy.
Next year, with prizemoney raised to £5,000, the tendency will be for entries to rise. Nor- man von Nida, whose tournament experience is unequalled in Aus- tralia, suggests a maximum field of 100 and this will probably be
Another suggestion is that the event should be confined to pro- fessionals. That, I think, would be a retrograde step. In the first place our top amateurs are worthy of inclusion; and, second, the object of this tournament is to encourage all golfers, not only professionals.
Last Saturday's crowd, estima- ted at 20,000, showed Sydney's increasing interest in the game. Incidentally, the attendance was probably a world record.
When Ben Hogan won the U.S. Open last year, the crowd at Oak- land Hills, Detroit, was 17,500, a record for the United States.
No accurate figures of British attendances are available, but all the British professionals in the McWilliam's tournament agreed
that they had never seen a British crowd lo equal last Saturday's.
SOME of the competitors in the McWilliam's tourna- ment found it difficult to force a way through the crowd to play their shots.
One of the worst sufferers was Bernie O'Sullivan, Queensland's bulky amateur champion, who was playing with Norman von Nida and Eric Cremin.
At one hole, O'Sullivan struggled through the 10- deep spectators but was finally baulked by a large and determined woman.
She had a place on the rope and was emphatic that she would not move, despite all O'Sullivan's pleadings. Finally, in desperation, he thrust his club into her hands, saying, "All right, madam, you play the shot for
me." She moved.
NEW South Wales Club,
senior pennant holders, started this year's competition yesterday without the services of three of last year's victorious
Dr. Jim Pendergast cannot spare the time from his practice this season and Bob Sheppard has gone to the country.
Jack Barkel, who captained last year's team, was temporarily absent with a foot injury. Bar- kel was hurt in a road accident near Berrima when on his way to Sydney to play in the McWil- liam's tournament. He hopes to be fit again in a week or two.
Leigh Bowes, Noel Bartell, and young Bruce Crampton, who joined N.S.W. at the end of last season, have been brought into