Squeeky's Bad News
Tour caddie Jeff (Squeeky) Medlen, who gained a measure of fame by looping for John Daly when Daly burst onto the scene by winning the 1991 PGA and was on the bag for Nick Price when he won three majors (the '92 PGA and the '94 British Open and PGA), has chronic myelogenous leukemia. He left Price and the Tour after last week's Western Open and returned home to suburban Columbus, Ohio, to begin treatment.
Medlen, 42, has lost 25 pounds since the first of the year, and tests taken the week of the U.S. Open revealed an abnormally high white-blood-cell count and an enlarged spleen, which is common among people with leukemia. "I asked my doctor, Am I going to die from this?' " Medlen said. "He pretty much said, 'Yeah.' Eventually that's probably what I will die from. But it was detected early, so it's treatable. It can take from three to four years to go from the chronic stage to the acute stage. The best thing is to treat it right away." Unlike many caddies, Medlen, a 13-year Tour veteran, has health insurance, and a compassionate boss in Price. "Whatever it takes financially and morally from me, I am willing to do," Price says.
Laura Baugh is taking things one day at a time after spending several weeks in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at the Betty Ford Center, which she entered in late May to treat her alcohol dependency (SI, June 10).
"It was the best thing that ever happened to me," Baugh said last week from her home in Orlando. "I am not in the same state I was two months ago. I was in very embarrassing shape. Now I'm proud and enthusiastic and upbeat. Things are new. It's kind of cool."
Baugh entered this week's Youngstown-Warren LPGA Classic—her first start in nine months—and hopes to play three straight tournaments. "Having a problem with drinking just takes you by storm. You don't ever think it can be you," she says.
Meg Mallon has joined Jeff Sluman and Greg Norman as golfers who have turned themselves in to the rules police this season. In Mallon's case it wasn't an illegal drop or ball that caused her disqualification from last week's Jamie Farr Kroger Classic at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio. It was waiting too long for a putt to drop. Mallon shot 65 to lead after the opening round, but at the 17th hole she waited 20 seconds before a birdie putt hovering on the lip finally fell. Only 10 seconds are allowed under Rule 16-2. Mallon alerted LPGA officials the next day and was DQ'd because, by not assessing herself an extra stroke plus a one-shot penalty, she had signed an incorrect scorecard. "I couldn't have played on if I had deceived the rest of the field," Mallon said. Joan Pitcock, who had been without a victory in nine years on the LPGA tour, eventually won....
On June 18, the day after qualifying for his first U.S. Senior Open, Wiley Williams was driving near his home in East Orange, N.J., when he was broadsided by another car. A muscle near Williams's heart was damaged, and he spent four days in an intensive care unit. That didn't keep him from finishing 51st at Canterbury. "The only way to stop me from playing would have been to cut my legs off," Williams said....