- The Washington Times - Monday, October 23, 2000

GAINESVILLE, Va. The beating lasted four days.
That's how they do it in golf.
There is no mercy rule, no three-knockdown rule, no urge to call off the troops.
The Presidents Cup was essentially decided the first day, and nothing against Michael Campbell's war dance, the Haka. That was as spirited as it would get for the Internationals.
The U.S. team set a point-total record, as far as records go in an event that dates back to 1994 and was only in its fourth installment.
Bill Clinton, honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, must have been proud. His relationship with golf is said to be enhanced by his liberal definition of mulligan, which follows a pattern.
Mulligan. Sex. Is.
It depends on how you define each.
Vijay Singh walks softly and carries a quivering stick to the green. This explains his disappearance since his triumph at the Masters last April.
His caddy wore a hat yesterday with the inscription: "Tiger Who?"
That was too funny, only no one was laughing as the Americans concluded their one-sided business.
Vi-jay, Vi-jay, Vi-jay.
The V stands for victim.
"I don't know where he [the caddy] got that from," Singh said. "I saw it on the practice tee, and I said why not?"
At least the Internationals showed up. They could have finished their obligation by telephone, and it is doubtful anyone would have noticed the difference.
This makes up for Melbourne, Australia. The next mismatch is in two years, in George, South Africa.
"Thank you very much," said Ngconde Balfour, South Africa's minister of sports.
That is a good start, being friendly. The next step may be to kidnap Tiger Woods.
The American players are reluctant to commit to South Africa, possibly because South Africa is out of the way and no longer fashionable.
Balfour is not too good at giving straight answers. But he is great at monitoring everyone's manners.
"I think that's a very unfair question to ask," Balfour said.
That was his reaction to America's indifference.
Woods and David Duval, not wanting to deal with the South Africa-in-2002 question, skipped the news conference. To the victors go the spoils, not class, grace and strength.
Ernie Els, a South African, accepted the question for Woods and Duval.
"When Nick Price and Greg Norman were on top of the world, it seemed like there was no problem for them to travel around," Els said. "Now that the top players are from America, it seems like there's a problem to promote the game around the world. We'll see how high they regard this event in two years."
Tim Finchem, commissioner of the PGA Tour, declared the event to be a success and revealed a miracle after apparently administering 22,000 breathalyzer tests a day.
"We did not have one incident of anything involving a fan," he said. "We haven't had any fans who had too much to drink."
Those fans are in New York City this week.
The Internationals might be moved to take up drinking, considering their lack of competitive fire.
Or maybe they are ready to go against Peter Thomson's "old ladies."
The captain of the Internationals insists that foursomes are for "old ladies at the club." Threesomes, of course, are for the daring.
"As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing in the format that is inviolate," Finchem said.
Ken Venturi babbled to the end. That is what long-term exposure to CBS-TV can do to a person.
"Maybe it's never been said before, but I love them," Venturi said of his 12 players.
It has been said before, man-to-man, man-to-woman and the like.
The 69-year-old Venturi is planning to curtail his professional activities, so if the four-day rout by Lake Manassas is almost it for him, what a bookend to his U.S. Open championship in 1964.
"I couldn't think of a better way to go out," he said. "I know all my guys, I know they gave me 100 percent. I'll always be indebted to them for this going-away present."
Present. Whipping. Whatever.
It was easy.

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