Jim Free’s Embarrassing Moment at the Dick’s Open
Every year for the Dick's Sporting Goods Open I volunteer as a walking scorer. They are the people that you see inside the ropes with the pros walking alongside the kid carrying the scoreboard. Our job is to log every shot that each of the pros hit during the tournament. We have to give the location of where they're hitting from, and whether or not each shot goes in the hole. I walked both days of the Pro-Am with two different Pro-Am teams without any incident.
Friday I was not needed as a volunteer. Saturday I was on the standby list for walking scores. My wife Chris is the head of the walking scores. Being that I wasn't scheduled, I worked here at the Whale and then stopped at Sam's Club to pick up some more water and ice for our coolers that we had on the patio full of beverages. As I was loading that into my car my phone started ringing. It was my wife saying that she needed me to be at En-Joie in 15 minutes. I flew home and filled the coolers with ice, then I ran inside the house, grabbed my volunteer shirt and my hat, and ran down Main Street to the golf course. When I got there they were still in a rain delay and scheduled to go back out at 1.
I ended up taking over for another walking score that had a wedding to go to that night, and with a rain delay, he was afraid he was going to be late for the wedding. I was keeping score for the twosome of Ken Green and Golf Hall of Famer Tom Kite. I took over on hole number 10. They played 10 and 11 and had already teed off on hole number 12. After each player hit their second shot, I started walking towards the green. Just then, I stepped in some mud on the end of the fairway and fell to the ground. I don't think anybody saw me fall, but everybody saw the results. When I got up I went to my friend M. J. who was one of the marshalls on that hole and ask her if she saw that? She responded by asking, "did I see what"? When I turned around and showed her the back of my shorts, all she could say was "oh my God." I knew in an instant, how bad it looked. I ended I ended up finishing the round wearing the shorts you see above. The players, the caddies, and even some spectators that did not see me fall asked what happened. It was pretty embarrassing to walk past the crowd wearing those shorts.
After the round was over Chris and I had passes for the VIP tent. I told her to give mine away because I wasn't going to go in there looking like that. She suggested that I buy a pair of John Daly's shorts that they were selling at the course and change into those so we could enjoy the VIP area together. So that's what I did. I wound up with a new pair of shorts and ruined another pair on the same day.
I kept Ken Green's score on Sunday as well. And he teased me a couple of times during the round about keeping my shorts clean. I guess it's true, no good deed goes unpunished.