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What a Beauty of a Masters 24
Tom Watson was expected to choke when he looked up and just ahead saw Jack Nicklaus, bent on birdies, but Watson hung tough
by Dan Jenkins

Somebody Old, Somebody New 30
The once-glorious A's opened without eight players who started 1976. How far can Finley get with rejects and recruits?
by Larry Keith

Full Tilt for the Playoffs 32
Eight NBA teams go at each other tooth, nail and elbow in mini-wars to get a crack at the four divisional leaders
by Curry Kirkpatrick

Getting into the Pack 40
Formerly a feat for loners, marathoning is now a mania, and nowhere is the craze more evident than at the Boston Marathon
by Walter Bingham

Sam the Used-Player Man 46
Montreal's Sam Pollock trades today's surplus for tomorrow's stars, so now the Canadiens should win another Stanley Cup
by Jerry Kirshenbaum

At Payson's Place 54
With seven elegant residences to choose from, Charles Shipman Payson much prefers his secluded Florida hunting ranch
by Virginia Kraft

A Site for Tired Eyes 84
Stanley Marsh's Texas spread, with its half-buried Cadillacs and Phantom Soft Pool Table, will alter your vision forever
by Frank Deford

The Departments

Scorecard 19
TV/Radio 65
Pro Football 68
Table Tennis 73
Nature 80
For the Record 104
19th Hole 106

Cover photograph by Walter Iooss Jr.

Credits on page 104

Next Week

The Iceman, otherwise known as George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs, Cometh to try to cool off the defending champion Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Curry Kirkpatrick reports the battle of the Alamo.

Jellyfish and Barnacles are a cinch, says Jack Rudloe, who collects marine specimens for laboratories, but try to fill an order for a gallon of shark's blood and all hell is liable to break loose. Ever get whacked in the eye by the tail of a dead shark?