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 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.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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