Has 1971's "most improved" woman golf pro, Janie Blalock, been improving something besides her game? Last week the pig-tailed pro, winner of $32,886 this year, was accused by the Ladies Professional Golf Association of unethical conduct and—after rejecting a face-saving arrangement whereby she would stay off the tour for 12 months on "doctor's orders"—was given a year's suspension. The LPGA says she improved the placement of her ball on a green in a recent event without taking a two-stroke penalty. Miss Blalock had the decree set aside by an Atlanta court, pending a hearing next week, but to play in this week's LPGA Championship in Sutton, Mass., she had to post a $10,000 bond—a high entry fee for an event offering a top purse of $7,500. "I feel I was treated very unfairly," the 26-year-old player said from her home in Portsmouth, N.H., where she was warming up for Sutton by hitting balls in her backyard. LPGA executive director E. M. (Bud) Erickson said, however, that his organization "has a strong case."
Japanese industrialist Junzo Kashiyama, whose thoroughbreds have dominated racing in Japan, has been trying to build a top European stable. Last week he hit the jackpot when Hard to Beat, a 3-year-old he acquired for a reported $1,200,000 only a few days before, lived up to its name and won the French Derby—and $251,000—in record time. That's good news for kimono and suit manufacturer Kashiyama, but Serge Sokolow, the British sportsman who sold him the horse, wasn't exactly taken to the cleaners. He paid only $2,800 for Hard to Beat as a yearling.
Joe Pepitone, who retired from baseball on May 2, has announced that he will return to action with the Chicago Cubs at the end of the month. Joe was reportedly persuaded by Cub Coach Pete Reiser, but Pepitone gives at least equal credit to his mother. "Get back to baseball, Joe," she told him. Seems he used to send her a check for $100 or $200 every month, and now. says Joe. she misses it. Well, whoever did it, welcome back, Joe.
For a time last month Paris took on the appearance of an American sports award banquet. A group of U.S. athletes traveled to the French capital for American Sports Week, a benefit for the American Hospital in Neuilly. The players put on exhibitions and—as Dallas Cowboys Flanker Bob Hayes docs here for a pair of police officers at the Thé√¢tre de la Musique—showed off some moves rarely seen on the banks of the Seine.
It sounded more like advice from a Jewish mother, but the full-page ad in the Texas Observer, headlined MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE BEEN A LAWYER, was really Jim Plunkett's way of soliciting support for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The New England Patriot quarterback is scarcely about to abandon his lucrative career in football. "There's nothing I like better than being a first-string quarterback," he says in the ad. "But now I can also see what it means to be a first-string lawyer"— probably a reference to Robert Woolf, his own legal eagle, who negotiated Plunkett's six-figure contract with the Pats.
Detroit welterweight Ron Harris last week accused former major league pitcher Dean Chance, now an Ohio light promoter, of offering him money to lose a match against Ohio welterweight champ Bobby Haymon. Not at all, says Chance; the extra $300 was simply insurance in the unlikely event that Harris should lose. Harris was unconvinced. The case was brought to Michigan State Boxing Commissioner Chuck Davey to see if the offer constituted a bribe. Davey agreed it was a mite peculiar, but concluded it was all a misunderstanding. At weeks end Harris was still incensed, feeling that he had been accused of lying. On the other hand, Cleveland's boxing commission thought the arrangement was peculiar enough to outlaw all future "if come" contracts that offer a premium for losing.
Long hair apparently runs in the Trudeau family. Serge Trudeau, the 21-year-old cousin of Canada's Prime Minister, was riding a bicycle in Key West recently when he was stopped by a policeman and cited for not having a light. "This never would have happened if I didn't have long hair," said young Trudeau, who added that he would certainly never recommend the Keys as a vacation spot to his cousin Pierre. No matter. Serge was later acquitted of the charge.
Eleven-year-old John F. Kennedy Jr. stopped off with a friend, Erie Van Hugley, in the dugout at Shea Stadium last week for some expert advice from Willie Mays.