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Original Issue

Nancy Hurst Downing

"I have," says Nancy Downing, "the ideal life—golf and children and a home." Mrs. Downing may well be the only woman with a lower golf handicap than the number of children at home. There are six of them, the youngest five months—which did not prevent Nancy from making the final round at last month's California state championship.

Although Nancy Downing held a 3-handicap in her teens and went to Stanford mainly because that college has a magnificent golf course, she did not learn to enjoy the game until she married Dr. George Downing, an obstetrician ("We have to advertise George's profession") with a 25-handicap and a sunny, it's-just-a-game attitude. Nancy went with friends to the Pebble Beach tournament and, although she had not practiced for a year, played a rusty qualifying round to please them. Her golf got better each day on her way to the finals. There she met Barbara Romack, the former U.S. Amateur Champion and a topflight competitive golfer. Nancy tied Barbara in the morning round, but came unglued in the afternoon. "It's like playing the New York Yankees," said the Downings. "If that's true," replied a tired Barbara, "then I've just played Milwaukee."