SAN ANTONIO, TX – What began as a leisurely game of golf at a municipal course turned into an epic round that stretched over three days and ended with a trip to the hospital for a local man. With plenty of fluids, a couple of days' rest and time in an air-conditioned environment, Ellis Connor will make a full recovery, doctors said.
Friends, however, are more concerned about Connor's golf habits that led to the hospitalization. "Ellis has always been a slow player," said a member of his regular foursome, "but, frankly, this even shocked us."
It began normally enough when Connor joined a twosome on last Tuesday afternoon to take advantage of the cheaper twilight rates. The twosome reportedly left Connor when the group took an hour to play the opening hole and Connor said he felt "rushed."
The authorities are still trying to piece things together from interviews with golfers, course staff and medical personnel. Here's some of what they believe transpired over the next 62 hours.
Sometime on late Tuesday afternoon Connor abandoned his cart and began pacing off every shot from the fairway to the green. This would slow down any golfer considerably. For the already tortoise-like Connor it was a major contributing factor to his three-day golf odyssey.
No one is exactly sure why Connor left his cart behind, but authorities did find a SkyCaddie in a pond near where the lone golfer was seen retrieving golf balls for two and a half hours.
"If he dropped his rangefinder in the water, that would explain why he was stepping off his yardage the rest of the way," said the head pro, "although it's puzzling why he walked off everything up to the green instead of using the sprinkler heads."
One of Connor's golf friends later confirmed that Connor didn't trust the course yardages.
Bedded Down in Bunkers
Course personnel believe that Connor slept in bunkers on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Players spotted him raking traps at daybreak on Wednesday and Thursday and he was mistaken for a member of the grounds crew.
Sometime on Wednesday, after spending nearly an hour trying to line up a 10-foot bogey putt on the 12th hole, Connor phoned a golf friend at work for guidance on how much the putt would break. After finally deciding to play it two balls outside the right-hand side of the cup, Connor left the putt short.
Around noon on Thursday a dehydrated and severely fatigued Connor finally succumbed to the heat. An empty vitamin water bottle was found in his golf bag, along with some granola bar wrappers and two sticks of Juicy Fruit gum.
During the marathon round, course personnel estimate that 79 groups played through Connor, a sure sign of a golfer in trouble. "I did think it was kind of weird when our fivesome played through him," said one course regular who asked not to be identified. "I wish now I would have done something, but at the time he just looked like your average hacker."
Connor declined to be interviewed for this story. But, according to a friend, he wanted to finish his round when he was released from the hospital.
"I was just starting to figure some things out," Connor said.
Happy April Fools' Day.