Doctor took suicide note to spare golfers family

By Associated PressAugust 26, 2010, 2:40 am

LAS VEGAS – The doctor who found the body of 25-year-old professional golfer Erica Blasberg told Nevada investigators he hid a suicide note and pills because he wanted to spare her family embarrassment, according to a court document released Wednesday.

A Henderson police affidavit detailed the hours Blasberg and Dr. Thomas Hess spent together playing golf, watching TV in a casino sports book and in her home in the days before he found her dead May 9 with a plastic bag over her head.

Detectives investigating the golfer’s death searched the doctor’s Mercedes-Benz, which was parked in Blasberg’s driveway, and found a suicide note and Xanax pills obtained in Mexico.

Authorities have declined to release the contents of the note.

Hess, 43, told investigators he called 911 and grabbed the note and pills off her bed stand and stuck them in his car so her parents wouldn’t think she took pills and killed herself.

“I know doing that was – was stupid, but I was trying to save some embarrassment for her,” the doctor told investigators, according to the affidavit. Asked why he hid the items, Hess said, “I have no idea. I mean that – that whole thing was a – was a fuzz for me.”

During the 911 call, the emergency operator told Hess, “Try not to touch anything.”

He replied, “Yes ma’am.”

Hess was arrested Tuesday on a misdemeanor obstruction of justice charge and was released a short time later after posting $637 in bail. Henderson assistant city attorney David Mincavage said the nonviolent misdemeanor charge carries a maximum $1,000 fine and six months in jail.

Authorities have not said whether Blasberg was being treated by Hess.

Hess was unavailable for comment Wednesday, according to a person who answered the phone at his medical office. Calls to Hess’ lawyer, Charles Kelly, were not immediately returned.

The Clark County coroner’s office ruled Tuesday that Blasberg’s death was a suicide due to asphyxia and toxic levels of prescription medications for headaches, cough, pain and anxiety.

The drugs in Blasberg’s system included butalbital, temazepam, alprazolam (Xanax), codeine, hydrocodone, and tramadol, according to the coroner, but Nevada law doesn’t permit the release of details on the amounts of medication.

A 911 call from Hess that summoned police came from the house. Officers found Hess outside the home and Blasberg’s body inside. Blasberg’s agent has said her bags were packed for a tournament in Mobile, Ala., when she was found.

Hess, who has said he was a friend of Blasberg who “knew her from the golf club,” told a death scene investigator he played golf with Blasberg on May 7, two days before she died, at the Southern Highlands Golf Club. They met afterward at the M Hotel and Casino to watch a game on TV and left in separate cars about 9 p.m.

The next evening, Hess talked to Blasberg by telephone and he said she sounded intoxicated. He drove to her Henderson home and found her drunk, the affidavit said. He emptied bottles of liquor, ordered her to take a shower upstairs and they both watched TV on a downstairs couch until he left at 9 p.m.

Hess said he called her several times the next day and got no answer, so he drove to her house and found her dead.

Blasberg grew up in Southern California, and was in her sixth season on the LPGA Tour.

Her best year on Tour was 2008, when she earned a career-best tie for eighth at the SBS Open in Hawaii and more than $113,000 in winnings, the LPGA said.

Blasberg played in one event this season, tying for 44th in the April 29-May 2 Tres Marias Championship in Morelia, Mexico.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.