Heritage Tales: Marshal fondly recalls pros, snafus ... and injury

Readers share favorite tourney memories

April 19, 2011 

We live halfway down hole No. 3. I have my 25-year pin as a marshal -- all on three except for one year on one. I can recall a couple fun stories.

A ball was lost and we were looking for it. A lady yelled, "Here it is!" and held up the ball in the air. I quietly said, "Please drop it and say nothing."

During a pro-am my wife saw a crowd in our backyard. I went out to find Fuzzy Zoeller looking down at his ball in the rough on our side of the cart path. "Hi, Fuzzy," I said. His response: "Hi. Do you have a Weed Eater?"

I was standing in the cart path as a spectator when the marshal yelled, "Ball coming our way!" I looked toward the tee and didn't see a ball. It hit my folder arm and bounced back on the fairway. It had been headed out of bounds. That save increased Justin Leonard's prize money by $3,000. He owes me!

Chi Chi Rodriguez hit a ball outside the ropes on 16. There was no marshal around. Chi Chi walked up and helped me pull the stake out.

Nick Faldo hit his drive to the right side of No. 3. I was a marshal at that station. He looked toward the green and selected a club five times. We were not allowed to speak to a golfer except to acknowledge a greeting. I was tempted to say, "For heaven's sake, pick a club and hit the (expletive) ball!" But I didn't.

George Russell

Hilton Head Island

Woman cherishes knee after touch from Couples

It was the final day of the Heritage - a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I was driving the pros from the 18th green to the clubhouse. My cart was filled with three men; one happened to be Fred Couples, who sat in the front with me. When we arrived at the clubhouse, Freddy (we were great friends by now) leaned over, patted my knee and said, "Thank you very much." I wouldn't let anyone - not even my husband - touch that knee for days after that!

Virginia Carzoli

Hilton Head Island

FCA breakfast started small, keeps growing

My good friend, John Scott, was the program vice president of the local Men of the Church organization in 1996. His responsibility each month was to come up with an interesting speaker for the organization's monthly breakfast. While planning April's program, John thought since we had the Heritage tournament in our midst, why not tie in our speaker to the big event going on in Harbour Town. Believe it or not, John called the Masters clubhouse the week before our tournament and left a message on the locker of Tom Lehman for his caddy, Andrew Martinez. No fooling, Andrew actually called John back to ask what this was all about. John explained he wanted Andrew to be our guest speaker, and Andrew agreed. Boy, have those kinder, simpler days changed when a phone call, a note and a promise actually meant something.

Andrew came to the island the next week and gave an awesome testimonial of his faith and his life in golf. When the breakfast program was over, Andrew graciously accepted all the accolades for a great talk but said, "If you really want to hear a good speaker, you should hear my boss." Andrew helped John secure Tom Lehman for the next year's program, and as they say, "The rest is history." Andrew and John have remained friends over the years and gone to dinners together and exchanged many phone calls over time.

So, in 1997, Tom Lehman was the first PGA Tour golfer to speak at what has become known as the Christian Heritage Breakfast. This long and storied tradition has included such past guest speakers of Steve Jones, Loren Roberts, Doug Barron, Stewart Cink, Larry Mize, Bernhard Langer, David Gossett, Jonathan Byrd, Aaron Baddeley, Fred Funk, Tom Pernice Jr. and Lee Janzen. The Christian Heritage Breakfast has become a rich part of the long tradition of the Heritage golf tournament week. This year, the 15th annual Christian Heritage Breakfast will be held at 7 a.m. Wednesday at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Shipyard Plantation. And John Scott will be there to introduce Andrew Martinez, who will introduce Tom Lehman as our guest speaker - just like 15 years ago when a note on a locker started a friendship and a legacy that has lasted through a decade and a half.

Michael Brock

Chairman

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Hilton Head Island

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