Former USC star Craig Stadler is within pitching distance of reconfirming the adage that winning isn't everything. At least on the PGA Tour.
In 1984, Payne Stewart set a record for money earned while not winning a tournament, collecting $288,795.
Stadler, ninth on this season's money list, has earned $283,826 with 12 events remaining on the 1985 tour.
Stadler, who earned his first paycheck of $520 in 1976, became golf's 37th millionaire when he won the World Series of Golf on Aug. 29, 1982. His got his eighth and last tour victory in May of 1984, at the Byron Nelson tournament in Irving, Tex.
Surprisingly, Curtis Strange, who with $534,331 has already surpassed Tom Watson's single-season earnings mark, isn't in the top 10 in stroke average--Ray Floyd is No. 1 with 70.53--and is ranked No. 41 in average putts per round.
However, Strange is 10th in birdies and 6th in eagles, indicating that when he gets close to the green he puts it in his wallet.
Nancy Lopez, who juggles her LPGA tournament schedule with a family--husband Ray Knight of the New York Mets, and baby, Ashley--has had a remarkable season, finishing in the top 10 in 17 of 20 tour events.
But the family always comes first.
"I feel badly about taking Ashley away from Ray all the time (on weekends)," she said. "So when he asked me to leave Ashley in New York while I played in the United Virginia tournament, I said yes."
Lopez finished 22nd, her second-worst finish of the season.
"It was really strange not having her around," she said of Ashley. "I had a lot of extra time on my hands and I didn't know what to do with it. I found myself pushing things out of her reach, even though she wasn't there."
Ashley's presence has been a boon to Lopez, who has already earned $344,772, her best year ever.
Jack Nicklaus isn't putting well once he gets there, but the Golden Bear reaches the green in regulation 71% of the time, the best on the tour.
A study released by university researchers indicates that golf is not a sedentary sport. Indeed, walking 18 holes, three times a week, can be all the exercise needed to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
"There is no question as to the benefits of walking the course on a regular basis," said the report, issued by Drs. Andrew Jackson and Stewart North in conjunction with the University of Houston and Baylor Medical Center. "Walking makes the heart beat faster, forcing the lungs to take in more oxygen which is used to burn up calories.
"Under proper conditions, playing golf on a regular basis can make a substantial contribution to reducing one's heart attack risk."
The sixth annual Amy Alcott charity tournament, to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, will be played Sept. 23 at Brentwood CC.
The 18-hole scramble event is open to men and women. A touring member of the LPGA will play with each foursome. In addition, celebrities Dinah Shore, Jack Lemmon, Johnny Mathis and Monty Hall are expected to attend.
The entry fee is $500. Golf Notes Tom McHugh's fifth annual Texas Scramble will be held Monday at the Los Angeles National Golf Club. . . . The National Golf Foundation has designated the Los Angeles metropolitan area as one of those most in need of public golf facilities. Statistics show that this area's ratio of population to public golf courses is 181,625 to 1, well below the NGF recommended or ideal ratio of 50,000 to 1. . . . Greg Allen's 81 led the way in the L.A. County Lifeguard Assn. tournament held at Valencia GC Aug. 19.