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Jim's Towing Service
February 18, 2011     Cape Gazette
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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18 - MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 SPORTS & OUTDOORS Cape Gazette his daily routine, which included a light lunch at Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, fol- lowed by a little practice session on occasion. In the mid-1980S, however, Hogans never-shifting schedule received a jolt, in the form of a vivacious young Texas Christian University golf team player named Kris Tschetter. She'd finagled her way onto Among all of the biogra- Shady Oaks as a convenient phies, sports stories place to practice, spending hours and colunms written on the range. Tschetter knew about the famous Ben not to bother Hogan, but with Hogan, one of his personality the innocence of youth she did- traits stood out. This was not a man who could be easily approached The Scots, who thrilled to his 1953 British Open win at St. An- drews, reportedly called the thin, 5-foot-8-inch Texan the "wee ice mon." It wasn't because he preferred to drink his whiskey on the rocks. Hogan's legendary stoicism on the course allegedly carried through to his relations with other players, the gallery and the media. As Curt Sampson noted in his fine biography of Hogan, the fan had good reason to be taci- turn at best and cold at worst. As a boy he'd watched his father commit suicide. That is bound to affect one's psyche. In retirement from profession- al golf, but while still the head of his Hogan Golf equipment com- pany, Hogan was also famous-for n't realize how she might nonetheless affect the old man when he would see her practic- mg. One thing led to another, and the South Dakota collegian's nat- ural charm eventually won over the aging golf star. The two soon began what be- came a noteworthy, unusual and mutually rewarding friendship that lasted until Hogan's eventu- al deraise in 1997. Tschetter eventually went on to a successful career as a popu- lar player on the LPGA, urged on and occasionally quietly coached by Hogan. She recently joined with Steve Eubanks to write a fond memoir of her time with the golfing legend, "Mr. Hogan, The Man I Knew", (Gotham Books, $22.50 SRP). The young woman dealt with Hogan in ways that must have appealed to him. Tschetter was respectful, but didn't push him into giving her lessons. From all accounts, she never tried to Wade on her relationship with Hogan, most likely another ma- jor plus. She loved to practice, as he did. She also apparently loved to tease him, something her more awestruck elders would never do. It turns out that Hogan loved to tease her right back. Tschetter also didn't know enough about Hogan's actual competitive history to be over- come in his presence, certainly at the beginning of their time to- gether. However, she also knew enough to appreciate the special relationship they had. As one reads through the sto- ries about practice sessions and their other times together, one likely explanation for the rela- tionship begins to make a lot of sense. Hogan had no children of his own. Tschetter came into his life at a time when that fact may have hit him harder than before. Here was this pretty young golfer, as ready to tease as to be teased, seemingly unfazed by his history, and whom Hogan could see had the talent to make it as a professional, with a little help. The old man gained a substitute granddaughter in the bargain, whom he clearly came to love in his own way. Tschetter also gives her own explanation for why Hogan act- ed as distant and unapproach- able to others as legend had it. People who become celebrities N IM II1" N %. The Man I [(new An LPGA Player Looks Back on an Amazing Friendship and Lessons She Learned From GolFs Greatest I.egend SHOWN IS THE BOOK cover of the new have to fund thek own way to be comfortable with themselves and the potentially incessant de- mands of their admirers. Hogan put up this shield, as she sees it, so as to draw a line between his public persona and his private life. This is a charming little mem- COURTESY OF AMAZON.COM Hogan book. oir. Tschetter knows how lucky she was to have spent so much time with Hogan and does a nice job ofconveying that fact to the readers. It is also readily apparent that Hogan enjoyed his own rewards .for befriending this young, unas- suming golfer. i received this story from Joe Morris, who is spending the winter in the Horida Keys. I call it, "The Old i en a_nd the Sea"with apologies to Ernest Hemingway. Capt. Pete Floyd, Craig Krish- Jim Alexander and I headed offshore for a shot at swordftsh. We arrived.at the West Crack of Woods Wall about 9 a.m. Pete positioned the boat in 1,800 feet of water for a drift to the north. set out the rig and sent the perfectly sewn, skirted blackfin tuna belly bait to the bottom. We had been drifting along at just g2e right speed for about 45 min- utes and were in 1,200 feet of water. Pete said we were ap- proaching the wall and soon would be in less than 1,000 feet. He suggested we start to reel in : the third of a mile of line so we could set up for another drift. Craig began winding in, and after a couple hundred feet, something struck. It felt heavy, but was acting strangely. At first we thought it might be snagged on the bottom. Then Craig start- ed gaining line. The reel could be used both manually and elec- trically, so Craig switched on the electric to assist in retrieving the heavy load. Suddenly, the reel locked up with a sickening crunch. Pete said, grab the line and give me some slack, and rll tie it to another rod and reel. Pete feverishly joined the two braided lines and said let it go. With the splice on a different reel, Craig started making head- way. Now, an after the hookup, the 50-yard wind-on leader appeared, and we un- snapped the eight-pound weight that was used to take the bait in- to the depths. The ftsh had been fighting against the weight on the way up, and noticed something dif- ferent when it was gone. Off it went again, taking with it much of the line gained. Craig fol- lowed the rampaging ftsh to the other side of the boat, and hand- ed over the winding duties to me. We weren't sure how well the fish was hooked and were afraid to put on too much pres- sure. I was trying to gain line with a light drag, so I was 'pulling in the Power Pro with one hand, and cranking the reel using the other. Again, I had the wind-on leader at the reel when the fish got another burst of en- ergy and freight-trained toward the bottom. I hung on and watched as line meltedfrom the spool. Then we noticed Pete's knot was becoming Visible as the layers of line disappeared. I had both thumbs on the spool trying to keep it from going, but the powerful ftsh just kept on smokin'. We watched tensely as the knot slipped through the guides and into the depths. Craig and I decided to double- team it, with a combination of me hand-lining the braid, and him cranking the reel. That way, we could have a light drag in case the fish took off again, but I could gain line and feel how the fish was acting with my bare hands. We still didn't waot to risk pulling the hook, so I painstakingly pulled by hand while Craig reeled. Jim spelled me for a bit, but couldn't get a grip because of the grease on his hands from the fried chicken he'd been eating. I went back at it, and we got a glimpse of Pete's knot in the dark-blue water. We all puckered as it creaked over the rod tip guide and was finally back on the reel. We continued to bring in line, and now, at two hours, the wind-on leader ap- peared once more. Pete said it seemed the fish was a little more controllable, and we had better get it now. Craig put on the gloves and began pulling in the long leader hand over hand. But we still hadn't seen the fish. Pete stood ready with the fly- ing gaff while Jim was poised for action with the straight gaff. And all of a sudden, the fish popped out from under the boat, and I said, Holy *&$#, it's a big #$%@&*$ swordfish. Pete struck as a man with a purpose, sinking the flyer deep into the sword's gills. The shot actually .pierced the heart, and it was all over. Jim stuck the straight gaff in for final control. We tail- roped it then wrestled the fish CAPT. JOE MORRIS is shown with the 200-pound swordfish he and his crew caught off the Florida coast. aboard. When the sword was in the boat, we realized why it had been so hard to handle. It was hooked between the front of the dorsal fm and the top of the gill It likely happened when he made the initial swipe at the bait, and it's probably a good thing we didn't apply too much pressure. It was quite a group ef- fort, and an awesome fishing day we'll all remember for a long time.