For Murray, every round comedy show, Notebook

February 02, 1997|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Before there was Kevin Costner, heart throb, there was Bill Murray, human whoopee cushion.

Record crowds at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am have turned out for the glitter team of Costner and Tiger Woods, but Murray, who has waltzed senior citizens into bunkers and gotten the crowd to do the wave for the blimp, hasn't lost any of his appeal.

The game is perceived as a buttoned-down pursuit, but there was Murray, gonzo golfer, in the middle of the 10th fairway yesterday, undoing his trousers to straighten out his shirt. On that tee, he assembled a human pyramid for the photographers, with little Jeff Sluman as the man on top.

Murray is teamed with Scott Simpson, two-time U.S. Open champion. Sluman's amateur was Mark Grace, the Chicago Cubs' first baseman. Some fans of a National League rival made the mistake of giving Grace grief.

"Who's the Giants fan?" Murray said before flinging a coin across the ropes. "Here's a quarter. Go buy an infield."

At that point, Murray let the rest of his group entertain. Simpson put on a Cubs T-shirt, and he and Grace grabbed a bat and fungoed some balls into Carmel Bay.

With Murray, it's like feeding time at the zoo. Hand him a beer can and he'll take a swig. On the 10th, he let everyone know the ingredients in his sandwich, "Hey, Mark, salami, cheese and a pickle."

Before the hole was over, he inhaled a banana and threw the peel in Grace's path. When he reached the portable toilet at the No. 11 tee, it was just in time to block the door and keep in Sluman.

At No. 17, Murray dipped into a Ben & Jerry's ice cream cart, handed out some free samples, finally fished out a good-sized salmon and threw it over the ropes and into the gallery.

Miscellaneous

CBS' coverage yesterday concluded before Woods finished No. 18. He tried to get on golf's best finishing hole, a 548-yard par-5, in two, but his 3-wood didn't draw and was knocked down by a tree. On in three, he two-putted for par. Third-round leader David Duval was the runner-up here two years ago, and he appreciates the tournament's lore, not to mention the fact that four-time champion Mark O'Meara is lurking just three strokes back after his third straight 67. "M.O. [O'Meara] is on the board," Duval said, "and you almost have to say he's the front-runner." James Woods, the actor, doesn't want to be confused with golf's newest hero, so he has his own nickname: "Ferret." Jack Lemmon maintained his perfect record at Pebble Beach: 22 tournaments, 22 missed cuts.

Pub Date: 2/02/97

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