Jack Nicklaus has been stymied by a few trunks in his time, but never by one that moves. Here, one member of the peanut gallery watches as Nicklaus practices on his chipping for the Million Dollar Golf Challenge, which was held in Bophuthatswana, South Africa. An elephant wouldn't, but Nicklaus might want to forget 1981: He didn't win any tournaments and finished 16th on the money list. Tom Watson held off Nicklaus and Johnny Miller by two strokes to win the Masters, while David Graham took the U.S. Open at Merion by three strokes. At the British Open, Bill Rogers devoured the Sandwich course with relish and a four-under-par 276. In the PGA at Atlanta, a local boy, Larry Nelson, made very good, winning by four shots. As far as money was concerned, nobody was higher than Tom Kite, who broke Watson's four-year hold on tour dollar earnings with $375,699. Among the women, Pat Bradley defeated Beth Daniel in the U.S. Open, with Kathy Whitworth finishing third to become the first LPGA career millionaire.
Rogers (near right, top) had nothing to yawn about in 1981. Besides the British Open, he won the Heritage Classic, the World Series of Golf and the Texas Open, as well as three international tournaments. Moving clockwise, Graham achieved the second lowest total in Open history, a seven-under-par 273, and then added a twist by buying the golfing press 25 cases of champagne. Arnold Palmer and his army marched to victory in the U.S. senior Open at Birmingham, Mich. Ben Crenshaw and the U.S. team were nearly bushwhacked by the Europeans, but they came from behind on Britain's Walton Heath to retain the Ryder Cup. There was hardly a dry eye at The Olympic Club course in San Francisco as Bing Crosby's 19-year-old son, Nathaniel, won the U.S. Amateur. Marlene Hagge, who won the LPGA championship in 1956, showed good form 25 years later in the '81 LPGA.