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Trevino airs views on women golfers

PERTH -- Lee Trevino won both the first round of his exhibition match with Gary Player and Graham Marsh and an exchange of views about women's golf with British writer Lewine Mair.

On the course the six-time major winner had a round of 71 to finish four shots clear of the South African and eight ahead of Marsh to earn $20,000. In the media conference afterwards Mair, who writes for the Daily Telegraph, started a discussion about men and women playing together. Suggesting that women should not have to play from the men's tees in such contests was like waving a red rag to a bull.

"Oh, no, you can't do that," said Trevino. "If the women want to play with the men, they've got to tee it up where the men tee it up. Either that or you've got to let the men tee it up where the women tee it up. What's all this handicapping? This isn't a horse race ... Look at Laura Davies. She wanted to play with the boys."

"And she did," said Mair. "Yeah," replied Trevino. "That was a hell of a long week for her, wasn't it?" Lewine stood her ground and suggested that Davies could win against the men, playing the same course, if she played five weeks in a row.

"Just like a woman," snapped back Trevino. "You're taking up for her. If she played five weeks in a row, she'd finish in the same place."

"She might finish last, but she would beat them in the odd round," said Mair.

"Are you crazy?" asked Trevino. "From the same tees? No way. You can't. Let me tell you something. When Navratilova was the greatest tennis player in the country, right, there were guys rated 150th that could beat her playing tennis because the men hit the ball too hard ... believe me when I tell you this:

"In golf, you take the best player in the world in the ladies and you take the best man player in the world and she can't beat him. I don't care if it's the short tees or the long. There's no such thing as handicap. Case closed.

"Oh?" said Mair.

"What do you mean, oh? What the hell are you talking about, oh? Isn't that what she (Davies) wanted? Answer me. Didn't she want to play with the men?"


"Johnnie Walker invited her to play with the men. They played four golf courses. Four different courses. Right? And she finished last. Case closed."

"You're being much less gallant than the rest of the men who agree that it's hell of a lot of pressure on Laura ... ," Mair replied.

"Listen to me," said Trevino. "She can't beat those men. Forget it. She can't even beat those women now."

Mair then asked him if he thought Davies would run last in the Open.

"No," he replied. "British is okay. I mean, she can bump and run. See, the Open is different because a long hitter doesn't have a big advantage and I'll tell you why. It's because everything's open in front of the greens. A Watson or an Els can hit a 6-iron, but I can stand back there with a 3-iron and run it on that green. I can land it 60 yards short of the green.

"See, it's a different kind of game over there in Britain. In America it's an aerial game and they're playing 7,200-yard golf courses, and it's all uphill. And I'll tell you something: If she played on the men's tour all the time, she would quit. She wouldn't like it. I mean, she would shoot some high scores out there. I have all the respect in the world for her, and I think she's a hell of a player, but she can't compete with the men. If you think so, then you're fixing to fall out of a tree."

Trevino, who is married, completed the interview by saying that he did like his chances of getting a date with Mair.

Afterwards three Australian writers said Trevino, who enjoyed a big weight and reach advantage, won on a knockout. One scored it a TKO, and one gave the decision to Mair on points. "It doesn't worry me," she said. "Nothing bothers me. I'm very easy going. I'm a woman in a man's game and I take it in my stride. But I think he was very hard on Laura. She played badly and was disappointed when she ran last in Asia (playing from the men's tees). She said she could beat them in the odd round.

"In Europe, the women tied the senior men 13-all in a Ryder Cup style event (the Praia d'el Rey) in Portugal. They thrashed the men (in singles matches) on the last day. The women had a start (forward tees). Lee says we shouldn't have a start. We should. We are different. Does he want us to build up like that French tennis player? I don't think he would want that."

Before the encounter Trevino promised to meet Mair for an interview after his second round on Saturday. "I do have a date with him," she said. "I'm meeting him for lunch tomorrow."