To the PGA Tour, earnings leader Davis Love III, who finished tied for seventh at last weekend's FBR Capital Open three weeks after the apparent suicide of his brother-in-law, who was being investigated by the FBI for embezzling from Love.
Jeffrey Knight, 37, who was married to Love's wife's sister, had worked for the golfer as a business manager for six years, and he was a close friend who fished and hunted with Love. But last December, Knight, who earned about $85,000 a year, made several bank deposits of about $10,000, triggering the attention of the FBI. An investigation revealed that Knight had siphoned about $1 million from one of Love's accounts since 1999. On May 9 FBI agent Tony Alig confronted Knight in a phone call. "He never denied anything, never asked for a lawyer," said Alig. "He was contrite. He was embarrassed."
Love wanted to handle the problem as a family matter, but because the case involved a federally insured bank, the FBI couldn't back off and was about to present its case to a federal prosecutor. If convicted, Knight faced prison time, a prospect he had anxiously questioned Alig about. On May 16, when Knight failed to arrive for a doctor's appointment and his family couldn't reach him, Love drove to Knight's hunting cabin in south Georgia. There he found Knight dead inside the cabin, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A country song about a final farewell played in repeat mode on a CD player.
At the Capital Open, Love called Knight "a good friend [and] a good manager...he just lost his way." After making a late charge toward the leaders—he had seven birdies in the final round—Love said he felt ready to contend at this weekend's U.S. Open. "I'm not sleeping good right now. But the golf course is a good place to be," he said. "After everything that happened, I'm back among friends out here."