Lehman Shot At Then Shoots 76

By Associated PressApril 6, 2006, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- What a strange week it's been for Tom Lehman.
 
It started with a routine trip to the airport, which turned terrifying when a bullet ripped through the side of his courtesy car.
 
Then came the opening round of the Masters, when he pulled off his shoes and socks, rolled up his pants and dipped his feet into Rae's Creek.
 
Tom Lehman
Tom Lehman survived a drive-by shooting Tuesday and then shot 76 in the first round.
Lehman opened the tournament with a 4-over 76 on Thursday -- a mediocre score, to be sure, but certainly understandable in light of what the U.S. Ryder Cup captain went through two days earlier.
 
While heading for the airport to pick up his wife, kids, other family members and friends, Lehman was the target of what appears to be a random drive-by shooting. The bullet pierced a backseat door and lodged in the seat behind the golfer, who wasn't injured.
 
'It was a very, very surreal experience,' said Lehman, whose car had no markings linking it to the Masters. 'You don't have guys shooting at you very often.'
 
An arrest was made after a second car was fired on. Once the suspect was in custody, investigators linked the two crimes together, finding weapons and spent casings.
 
Lehman was driving along Bobby Jones Expressway -- named after the famed golfer who co-founded Augusta National -- and nearing the airport exit when the shooting occurred Tuesday night.
 
'I heard this huge, loud explosion,' he recalled, while standing behind the 18th green after his round. 'My initial reaction was, 'Someone just shot at me.' But the windows weren't broken. All the wheels were intact.'
 
Lehman drove to the airport, where he was able to examine the luxury SUV more closely. That's when he found a bullet hole in the door and called police.
 
'I wanted to let the police know right away so this guy couldn't hurt somebody else,' he said.
 
Lehman was grateful the shooting occurred on the way to the airport -- and not after he picked up his family. His 10-year-old son, Thomas, could have been sitting in the seat where the bullet ended up.
 
'We were all joking around and looking at the car, but Thomas was very upset,' said Lehman's wife, Melissa. 'He kept asking, 'Who did that? Who did that?' He really loves his dad.'
 
Lehman figures he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
 
'I think the guy was full of Jack Daniels,' the golfer said, managing a smile. 'He must have had a bad day at work.'
 
Lehman refused to blame his shaky start at the Masters on what happened on his way to the airport. He simply couldn't get anything going, failing to make a birdie all day.
 
The par-5 13th -- which played second-easiest of all the holes -- epitomized the state of Lehman's game. He positioned his tee shot in the middle of the fairway, giving him a chance to go at the green with his second shot. But he came up short, the shot settling in the creek that divides the fairway from the green.
 
Lehman waved his club in disgust when the ball disappeared from view, stood in the middle of the fairway with his right hand on his hip, then took a few practice swings before heading off to find it.
 
After locating the ball, Lehman decided to play it instead of taking a drop. The shoes and socks came off, and the pants were rolled up. Stepping carefully into the shallow water, he settled in for a mighty swing.
 
Unfortunately for Lehman, he managed to move the ball only 4 or 5 yards, watching glumly as it settled in thick rough on the opposite side -- dry but still short of the green.
 
Lehman didn't even bother to put his shoes back on before he swung again, chipping about 15 feet short of the flag, tucked into the back right corner of the massive green. He missed the putt and marked down a bogey -- one of only 16 players who didn't make at least a par on a hole that surrendered 30 birdies and six eagles.
 
This is an important week for Lehman, who could move closer to an automatic spot on the U.S. team that plays Europe this fall in the Ryder Cup, looking to avenge a crushing loss at home two years ago.
 
Lehman would like to be the first playing-captain for the Americans since Arnold Palmer in 1963. The top 10 automatically make the team, and Lehman was 12th in points coming into the Masters. If he doesn't get in that way, he could use one of his two captain's picks to draft, well, the captain -- but only if he's playing well enough to be deserving.
 
Coincidentally, Lehman's group included Ian Woosnam, captain of the European team. They didn't spend much time talking about Ryder Cup.
 
'I asked him if he was busy. He said, 'Fairly.' He asked if I was busy. I said, 'Fairly,'' Lehman recounted. 'We talked a little about handling the media. It was a friendly round of golf.'
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - 70th Masters Tournament
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    Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.