Even though Mark O'Meara was the leader, all the attention was focused on Ray Floyd's foursome Saturday at the Bob Hope Classic.
Golfroundup That's because Floyd was golfing with former President Ford, Hope and New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor.
An enormous mob of Secret Service men, photographers, reporters and thousands of spectators accompanied the group around the Indian Wells Country Club. It turned into an 18-hole party that bore little resemblence to the staid decorum usually found in golf galleries.
The fans had a ball, shouting and yelling, romping and running along the fairways. The 87-year-old Hope stole the show when he holed a 20-yard chip shot on 18.
"That'll be on tape forever," said Floyd, who missed a 2-foot birdie putt on the same hole. Still, Floyd finished with a 64, five strokes back of O'Meara.
While the glamour boys got the attention at the 90-hole, four-course tournament, Scott Hoch played the best golf of the day at La Quinta.
Hoch played the front side in 29, was 9-under for the round through 12 and had thoughts of a 59, accomplished only once in PGA Tour history.
"I started pressing," Hoch said. "I played the last six like I had a lump in my throat."
Hoch said he also started thinking about the $1 million bonus offered to a pro who breaks 60 in PGA Tour competition. But he parred the last six holes and finished with a 63. His four-round total was 268, four strokes back of O'Meara.
O'Meara, who last week missed a chance at a third consecutive victory in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, shot 67 at Bermuda Dunes and was 24-under after four rounds.
"Anybody within four or five shots is definitely in contention," O'Meara said.
The PGA Tour record for a 90-hole tournament is 27-under, and that seems easily in reach on Sunday, when everyone plays Indian Wells.
"Somebody is going to get hot tomorrow, shoot seven-, eight-, nine-under par," O'Meara said. "I think it'll take somewhere between twenty-seven- and thirty-under to win it. I imagine I'll have to shoot five- or six-under to win the golf tournament."
Tim Simpson, who shared the second and third-round leads, was one stroke back at 265 after shooting a 68 on the Arnold Palmer course at PGA West.
"It'll just be a putting contest tomorrow. It's as simple as that," Simpson said. "Whoever lights it up with the putter will win."
He, too, agreed that anyone within five strokes of the lead has a shot at the title and the $198,000 first prize.
Corey Pavin, a runner-up last week at Pebble Beach, shot a 66 at Indian Wells and was third alone at 266.
Fred Couples, with a 67 at La Quinta, and Blaine McCallister, with a 68 at Bermuda Dunes, were tied at 267.
The tournament is sponsored by Chrysler.
At Lauderhill, Fla., Beth Daniel shot a 73 as her lead dwindled from five strokes to one going into the final round of the LPGA Phar-Mor Classic.
Daniel, making her first start of 1991 after a nagging shoulder injury, finished her erratic day on the 6,286-yard East course at Inverrary Country Club at 140, 4-under par for two rounds.
Hiromi Kobayashi also had 73, with four bogeys on her first 10 holes, and was second at 141.
Daniel birdied three of her first six holes to lead Colleen Walker by five shots. Then she missed a four-foot putt at No. 18, her ninth hole, and had to take an unplayable lie at the next hole enroute to a double bogey.
"I hit my drive into the base of a tree and had no shot," Daniel said. "I don't know how it got there unless it bounced back off another tree."
She dropped into a sandy lie, hit her next shot into a bunker some 40 yards from the hole, and then missed a 15-foot putt for bogey.
She made one more bogey coming in, three-putting from 40 feet at the par-5 eighth hole.
`I started out hitting the ball well, then I kind of lost it," Daniel said. `I played the last 10 holes like I would have expected to in my first tournament. I guess I'm lucky to have played well the first 26 holes."
Daniel missed the first two tournaments of the season. She set an LPGA record last season by earning $863,578 enroutem and won seven tournaments. She also finished with the LPGA Tour's low score average at 70.54.
Kobayashi, the 1990 rookie of the year, fought her way back into the tournament with four birdies and a bogey her last eight holes.