PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — A caddie for an amateur player collapsed during the second round of the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Friday and received CPR before being taken to a nearby hospital.
Play was stopped on No. 11 for nearly an hour as the caddie for Pebble Beach businessman Geoff Couch was attended to for an extended period of time after he collapsed on the fairway.
Gary Young, the PGA Tour’s chief referee, said a spectator began the CPR and an officer from Cal Fire took over from there.
The playing group included country singer Lukas Nelson and PGA Tour pros Beau Hossler and Max McGreevy, who appeared to be shaken up after witnessing the incident. Shortly after the ambulance arrived, Couch left the playing group.
The players and caddies later were seen hugging each other upon receiving news. When asked about the status of the caddie by ESPN, Nelson said the caddie — whom the PGA Tour did not name — was “doing better.” Golf Channel also reported that the caddie was expected to be OK.
“During the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, there was a medical emergency at No. 11 at Pebble Beach involving an amateur’s caddie,” the PGA Tour said in a statement. “The caddie has been rushed to Montage Health for evaluation. At the direction of the PGA Tour Rules Committee, the players in that group — Max McGreevy and Beau Hossler — paused play during the medical emergency and will be allowed to warm up and resume their round shortly.”
Nearly two hours after the incident occurred, Hossler, McGreevy and Nelson resumed their round on the 11th hole.
“He fell on top of himself,” McGreevy told ESPN. “We just took the bag off him quickly so they could do CPR.”
After the caddie was stretchered into an ambulance while still receiving CPR, players convened with a PGA Tour rules official. While there was discussion about resuming play, Hossler, McGreevy and Nelson pushed back.
“I can’t say that I’m real comfortable at the moment to resume play,” Hossler said. He proceeded to acknowledge that he wasn’t asking for all play to be paused, but felt that he couldn’t continue play as normal after witnessing the incident. “Is the line whether he passes or not?”
Nelson cited what happened to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin on Monday Night Football last month as a reason why they should not continue playing. Eventually, the official asked players if they would be willing to step to the side to allow the group behind them to play through, and the group agreed.
After resuming their round on the 11th hole and finishing as the last group of the day, a tour spokesperson said both players declined to speak to the media “out of respect for the [caddie] and his family.” Nelson, however, did speak to the media for a few minutes and recalled the incident.
“From my perspective, it seemed like we lost him,” Nelson said. “Luckily there was a police officer on the sidelines there and he [performed] CPR. So he came in and effectively saved his life.”
Nelson said that he found it difficult to continue the round but was happy to hear that the caddie is reportedly doing better.
“Emotionally, there’s nothing like that,” he said. “I didn’t want to keep playing. I feel like it wasn’t right.”
Harry Higgs, who was playing two groups behind the Hossler and McGreevy group, said he could tell the two players were visibly shaken.
“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,” 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?”
Higgs said he was then informed the caddie’s condition had improved and that he would be OK.