|Jim Flick, 1930-2012.|
Lehman then went out and played his best golf when he needed it most. His final-round 65 gave him a 22-under total and a remarkable double victory: the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship and the season-long Charles Schwab Cup points race, with Lehman slipping by Bernhard Langer on the final weekend.
John Schwarb of PGATour.com wrote:
Lehman couldn’t get away from the memories of two-plus decades with Flick, though he tried to push them to the back of his mind while competing.This past week the Champions Tour star burned up the par-70 Desert Mountain Cochise Course. In addition to the closing 65, Lehman had rounds of 68, 63 and 62. He went 47 holes without a bogey.
The now-seven-time Champions Tour winner first contacted Flick in 1990 while on the Hogan (now Web.com) Tour, looking for help on his wedges. Flick, having no idea who Lehman was, first called pros Andrew Magee and John Adams to see if the Minnesotan was worth his time. Yes, fellow pros told Flick, he was worth spending some time with.
So they did over Flick’s lunch hour, kicking off a long and fruitful relationship. Lehman went on to win five times on the PGA TOUR, including the 1996 British Open.
Lehman remembers many times wearing out the back of the range at the Renegade Course at Desert Mountain, where Flick was the longtime PGA teaching pro.
“The last hole,” Lehman said, “I know that he was probably watching today. I felt quite certain that that was probably the last driver he was ever going to see me hit and I wanted to make it a good one. And the last 7-iron he will ever see me hit, and I wanted to make that a good one.”
They were both very good ones. So was Flick, who also coached Jack Nicklaus, and who spent his final Sunday telling a student to believe in himself.