Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sad Story From the World of Golf

Beth Smith, the wife of longtime PGA Tour pro Chris Smith was killed in a car crash in Indiana on Monday night.

Read more here.

This is a story that hits close to home for some of us at WGCH. Chris Smith was a frequent guest on "Tee Time" in the early part of this decade, especially on our annual show the night before the Classic tournament at Westchester Country Club teed off. Chris was always a great guest - personable, funny, and outgoing. Off the air, he brought a great Midwestern sense of humor, and talked openly of his love of the St. Louis Cardinals. He and I actually talked about going to a Yankees-Cardinals game in New York (which turned out to be Roger Clemens 300th win).

In 2002, the stars aligned for Smith, who had struggled to keep his tour card. Using tips that he worked on with my "Tee Time" co-host, Michael Breed, Chris was able to win the Buick Classic - as I had predicted he would. Each day, he gave Sean Kilkelly and I few minutes of his time to say hello and would let us interview him whenever we wanted. It was that kindness that led him to mention us during his live interview with the Golf Channel following his win at the Classic, and to make sure we were his first destination following the press conference.

That's where Beth Smith came in.

She talked off the air with us about Chris, the dream of finally being a champion, her family, and the life of a golfer's wife. She remembered Chris talking about all of us, and hearing some of the tapes that we had made.

She was a total delight.

I am shocked and saddened by this awful news, and I think I can speak on behalf of all of us who were around WGCH back in those days when I offer condolences to the Smith family, and hope for the best for Chris and Beth Smith's two children.

I also hope the family finds strength. Life truly is rarely fair.

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