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Original Issue



It's thirty-five miles from Chesapeake Bay,
A hundred from Cape Henlopen,
But it's only the width of the room from me,
The site of the U.S. Open.

So here I sit at my new TV,
A hacker, a digger, a dub,
To watch the scene of the championship,
The Congressional Country Club.

The Congressional Country Club, my friend,
It's hard by Washington city,
Where a solon sore at his shameful score
Can bury it in committee.

When Senators meet for a friendly match
And on the first tee cluster,
The matter of who gives strokes to whom
Turns into a filibuster.

But the tournament wheel is a whirling wheel
And here is its golden hub,
Just a drive and a pitch from the U.S. Mint,
The Congressional Country Club.

So today it's free of politicos
And patronage seekers barmy.
And lobbyists sit at home and sulk,
Out-lobbied by Arnie's Army.

The gallery sways like a primitive throng
At a ceremony pagan,
And murmurs the names of its ancient gods,
Ouimet and Jones and Hagen.

Then swirls around the gods of today
An argumentative chorus:
Can January blossom in June?
Can Lema give weight to Boros?

Can Nichols keep pace with Nicklaus,
The heftiest of the hefties?
Or will Charles repeat his British feat
And hearten the nation's lefties?

Will the title go to a real old pro
Like Casper or Snead or Player,
Or to some unknown like What's-his-name
Who putts like an old crokayer?

We must wait, my friend, till the drama's end
Unfolds on the magic screen.
So join me here at my nineteenth hole
While they play the first fourteen.

The mysterious first fourteen, my friend,
Which is missing on my screen;
At times I wonder if anyone plays
The invisible first fourteen.

That the Open crown is a kingly crown
Is a statement we all endorse,
But I can't conceal that I sometimes feel
It is won on a four-hole course.

At times I think they have rolled the dice
To decide what their scores will be
As they swing a club for the very first time
When they stand on the fifteenth tee.

If McClellan is seeking a brand-new show,
Here's a TV mystery catchy;
The case of the missing fourteen holes
Would outrate Joe Valachi.

But hush! The sponsor is speaking now,
The first commercial unrolls
And you settle yourself in your easy chair
To follow the last four holes.

Well, two-ninths of a loaf is better than none
And the picture is sharp and clean;
Just be grateful you're there for the final four,
And the hell with the first fourteen!