News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Rub of the Green

November 3, 2007

Last thing a golfer needs during a tough round

TERRE HAUTE — An old saying goes something like this. “Golf is not a matter of life or death. It’s much more important than that.”

That may be overstating the matter, but when golf is coupled with the possibility of being murdered, it certainly gives the potential victim something to worry about.

Hubert Green found himself in that exact position going into the final round of the U.S. Open Championship at Southern Hills C.C. in Tulsa, Okla., back in 1977.

Green had enough on his mind with a one shot lead after 54 holes and high hopes of becoming the U. S. Open champion, when he was notified that a woman had called advising that he would be shot on the 15th hole of that final round.

After being advised of the threat, Green was asked if he wanted to withdraw from the tournament, a request he immediately rejected. Hubert admitted to being nervous, but not because his life had been threatened, but due to the fact he was on top of the leaderboard heading into the final 18.

Green did agree for security to accompany him as he made his way around Southern Hills. By the time he reached the 15th green, his nervous system had kicked into overdrive. After getting the sensation that he was going to be shot and leaving his first putt short, he said aloud, “Chicken” and he added that he wasn’t referring to the putt. When Hubert holed a four-foot putt for a one-stroke victory over Lou Graham, he had to feel that he had accomplished double triumphs, one over the U.S. Open field and another over fear. The following year a note left on Green’s locker in Phoenix stated, “Sorry I missed you last year at Tulsa on 15. We’ll get you today.” It was obviously a hoax.

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