Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Updated: January 26, 4:27 PM ET
Life of Reilly
By Rick Reilly
ESPN The Magazine
We golfers are sick of all you Americans who call us useless Crisco butts wearing clothing salvaged from a Sherwin-Williams paint factory explosion. To you, we offer The Fab Foursome.
These four golfers not only fought off an armed robber, they chased him down in a golf cart and held him for police. And all without resorting to a single Big Bertha!
OK, true, the assailant was wearing underpants on his head. And, yes, the weapon was only a kitchen knife. And yes, he did move at the speed of Willard Scott on stilts, but what did you expect? We did say the guy got caught by golfers.
It all happened on Monday, Nov. 24, at around 4 p.m. at the Central Valley Golf Course in Salt Lake City. A, ahem, brief summary:
Scott Flick, 34, an assistant golf pro, was alone in the shop when, according to the charges, Barry Kramer, 48, entered wearing a pair of brown men's tighties on his head and carrying a 10-inch kitchen knife in his fist. Seeing nobody behind the cash register, he surprised Flick in his office and said, "Money!"
Then Flick said something very clever, which was: "Are you kidding me?!"
Question No. 1: Why was the man wearing underpants on his head?
A: Perhaps he planned to take the money and launder it.
Question No. 2: Was the color of the underpants originally brown or were they …
A: "No," answers Flick. "They were not stained from the day before." NOW THE THREE HEROES GET OUT OF THEIR CART WITH A CERTAIN BOUNCE, SAYING STUFF TO EACH OTHER LIKE, " GO AHEAD, PUNK. MAKE MY PUTT."
The point is, this man, who Flick thought outweighed him by 70 pounds, aimed to give Flick a slice that no lesson could cure. He thrust the knife at Flick's bellybutton, menacingly. "People ask me why I didn't just do what he wanted," recalls Flick, "but I was trapped in that office. I really felt threatened."
Surveillance cameras caught Flick grabbing the man's arms and shoving them above his head. The knife caught Flick's ear. Now it was Van Gogh time, pal. Flick wrestled the assailant out of the office, into a supply closet—carving up his own hand along the way—and hip-checked him into a shelf, breaking the knife off at the handle.
Finding himself at a golf course without a shank, the assailant fled, with Flick following him as he called 911. "I didn't even know my ear was cut until I looked at my phone and saw all the blood."
At that instant, three golfers were coming in from their round. Flick saw them and hollered, "Get this guy! He tried to rob me! I'm cut!"
Library custodian Bob Brewer, 58, spun the cart around in hot pursuit, with his friend, real-estate agent Reed Madsen, 57, sprinting behind. Next on the Golf Channel: America's Most Unforgettable Cart Chases!
In the parking lot, the third buddy—groundskeeper Gary Itow, 58—gave chase, too, a golf shoe on his right foot, a running shoe on his left, neither of them tied. "The guy still had the underwear on his head," Itow remembers. "He looked like maybe he was having trouble seeing."
Robbery 101: Leghole faces out.
As the assailant ran across the driving range, Brewer ran the nose of the cart into the back of his calves, felling him on the spot. He then jumped out and, along with his two buddies, stomped him flat while Itow kicked the knife handle out of his hand. A passing golfer came over offering aspirin. He thought the robber was having a heart attack. When they told him the man was actually a knife-waving maniac, the Good Samaritan moved away quickly. Exactly, son. Leave this to the experts.
Question No. 3: Did guys try to hit Bob's cart with seven-iron shots as he drove across the practice range?
A: Surprisingly, no.
Police charged Kramer with aggravated robbery. And it turns out this may have been No. 2 for the Underpants Robber. A week before, a knife-wielding man walked into a suburban Salt Lake City pro shop with men's undergarments on his head and tried to rob it. Detectives for both cases say it's "possible" the cases are linked. (OK, so they're not exactly Scotland Yard.)
Rightly, the Fab Foursome is being hailed as heroes. Flick got 10 stitches in his right hand and a bonus which was way more than the nearly $200 in the register. For their courage, Flick gave the three buddies a free round of golf.
As for those three, they get out of their cart now with a certain bounce, according to Itow. "We say stuff to each other like, 'Go ahead, punk. Make my putt."
And get this: Hollywood executives have approached them about starring in a new TV series—CSI: Pro Shop.
Question No. 4: Did you make that one up?
Love the column, hate the column, got a better idea? Go here.
Want more Life of Reilly? Then check out the archive.