A unique event will open the 1986 professional golf tour.
It's the $200,000 Spalding Pro-Am Jan. 2-5 over three courses on the Monterey Peninsula.
This is the only tournament in which women pros compete head to head with the men. The only break the women will get is at the tee. Generally, the women's tees are set 10 to 20 yards ahead of the men's.
Kathy Whitworth was tied for the lead through three rounds last year, then ultimately finished sixth. The 1985 winner, Peter Oosterhuis, will return to defend his title.
Eight women will compete with the men for the $40,000 first prize. They are Alice Miller, Jan Stephenson, Patty Sheehan, Jane Blalock, Sally Little, Val Skinner, Beth Daniels and Juli Inkster.
The men's field will include 11 winners of 1985 tour events, among them U.S. Open champion Andy North and veteran Roger Maltbie, who enjoyed his best year, winning two tournaments and more than $360,000.
Each pro will play with a different three-man amateur team for the first 54 holes, rotating over the three courses: Del Monte, Carmel Valley Golf and Tennis Club, and Pebble Beach. Only the pros will play the final round at Pebble Beach.
The 14th annual Spalding will be one of four California tour stops in January. It will be followed in successive weeks by the MONY Tournament of Champions at LaCosta Country Club and the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Palm Desert.
Notes Jim Woodward, head professional at the Wood Ranch Golf Club, was presented the PGA's Southern California Section Player of the Year award at a meeting at Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach. . . . Hacienda golf club pro Andy Thuney was elected Southern California Section president for 1986. . . . Bert Schaar of San Clemente Golf Club has been named to the board of directors of the Southern California Golf Assn.