Only the older, more hardcore of golf fans have heard of Ken Green, and that’s okay; the 50-year-old pro has all of five wins in his PGA career, all of which were a long time ago. He’s with the PGA Champions Tour now, enjoying a renaissance of sorts; he’d recently placed as high as seventh in a tournament.
He could use another comeback, sadly, as a weekend RV accident has left him hospitalized in intensive care. Worse yet, also in the RV were his brother and caddy, William Green, his girlfriend Jeannie Hodgin, and his German Shepherd, Nip. None of them survived.
From the ASSOCIATED PRESS:
Green was driving on Interstate 20 near Hickory, Miss., on Monday when the right front tire of his RV blew out. Green was unable to control the vehicle and ran off the road and down an embankment before hitting a large oak tree.
[Sgt. Malachi] Sanders said it was unclear if the passengers were wearing seat belts. He described the embankment the RV traveled over as “a small cliff.”
“The whole front of the RV was totally demolished,” Sanders said.
That this accident could happen to Green is a cruelty nonpareil; Green was just rounding back into form as a golfer after years of mental illness derailed his career and left him on the brink of suicide. But he was back; In the last year, he had made more money on the tour than the previous seven combined.
According to the CONNECTICUT POST, Green was golf’s original “bad boy”:
He was unabashed, unashamed, flamboyant — remember those bright green golf shoes? — and unforgiving. He publicly blasted Ray Floyd for cheating once, never made a lot of friends and never cared one bit that he hadn’t. Ken Green played for himself, commissioners Deane Beman and Tim Finchem be damned. He played golf his way and the only way he knew, all out. And usually, that was pretty darn good.
But now, while his injuries aren’t life-threatening, they’re most certainly livelihood-threatening. Doctors are working to save his right leg from amputation, and his orbital bone was broken in the crash.
Worse yet, with three of his closest companions killed in the wreck, he’s got so much more new ammunition for those demons that haunted him for so many years. That is a hell we just can’t imagine.