One of the difficult holes in golf is the sixteenth at the Cypress Point Country Club. It's a challenge to all but excellent players, for the tee shot must carry more than two hundred yards across an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. Most golfers play conservatively by hitting to the fairway left of the water thus requiring two strokes to reach the green.

Such was not the decision of His Royal Highness Sultan Haji Admad Shah, King of Malaysia.

A few of us were lunching at the home he had leased in Woodside. His wife was undergoing treatment at the nearby Stanford Medical Center.

I knew he was an avid golfer when I asked, "Your Majesty, how did you do on the sixteenth at Cypress?"

We were out of doors, but he immediately rushed into the house and returned with a large color photograph of this famous hole.

I asked again. He smiled and proudly announced he'd reached this difficult green in one shot, a remarkable achievement. But, then, he frowned.

"Sir?" I asked.

"I three-putted."