02/03 20:18 CST Caddie for amateur at Pebble Beach collapses during tourney
Caddie for amateur at Pebble Beach collapses during tourney
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) --- The caddie for an amateur in the AT&T Pebble
Beach Pro-Am collapsed on the 11th fairway Friday, and CPR was performed on him
until an ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital.
In a tournament known for its easy vibe with celebrities and scenery, the final
three hours at Pebble Beach took on a somber tone, particularly those on and
around the 11th hole when the caddie fell over.
The PGA Tour did not release his name. Early reports were the caddie's
condition was improving. He was working for Pebble Beach businessman Geoff
Couch, who did not return to finish the round.
"I turn around and he's on the ground and I ran over to him and turned him
over," said country singer Lukas Nelson, the other amateur in the group. "And
he didn't have a lot of color in him. Luckily, there was a police officer on
the sideline. He knew CPR so he came in and effectively saved his life."
Gary Young, the PGA Tour's chief referee, said a spectator began the CPR and an
officer from Cal Fire took over from there.
PGA Tour players Beau Hossler and Max McGreevy, after consultation with PGA
Tour officials, chose not to speak to reporters out of respect to the caddie's
"It was especially jarring, the weirdest thing that can happen on a golf
course," Nelson said. "The good news is he's at the moment doing better. From
my perspective, it seemed like we lost him. And he's still with us, so that's
After consulting with a PGA Tour rules official, Hossler and McGreevy marked
their golf balls on the 11th hole and returned to the clubhouse. They were able
to warm up and returned to the 11th hole after every group had come through to
finish the round.
Harry Higgs was playing two groups behind and saw it all unfold. It brought
back memories of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac
arrest during a Monday Night Football game against Cincinnati and had to be
resuscitated on the field.
"It had some shades of that," Higgs said. "I was standing on the tee. They
looked like they were 250 yards away, maybe even less, and they were hammering
away CPR on the gentleman. It was weird."
The groups behind, which included retired All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald,
played through as the tour figured out what the players wanted to do.
"We teed off on 11 and once I got up there and saw the group that the caddie
was in, they were off to the side and they were obviously very emotional,
hugging each other," Higgs said. "I called a rules official over and just
wanted to like, ?Is this OK? I don't want to be rude and keep going.' It's like
golf doesn't matter at all now, right?"
Nelson wasn't sure he wanted to return, a feeling shared by others, except for
getting good reports on the caddie's improved condition.
"I think everybody on property knew what had happened and everybody was flat,"
Higgs said. "There was no energy, no juice on any of the holes coming in. ...
Fortunately, we got some good news and kept going. I hope there's more good
news in the coming hours and days. Just very difficult and kind of a first ---
hopefully, a last."
Two years, caddie Alberto Olguin collapsed on the ninth tee during a PGA Tour
Latinoamerica event and died an hour later at a hosptial in Mexico.
In 2016, the first round of a Ladies European Tour event in Dubai was suspended
when caddie Max Zechmann collapsed on the 13th fairway and died at a nearby
At the 2014 Madeira Island Open on the European Tour, caddie Ian MacGregor
collapsed and died on the ninth hole while working for Alastair Forsyth. The
tournament continued when Forsyth said that's what his caddie would have
wanted. One player, Peter Lawrie, withdrew out of respect.
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