Ken Green seriously injured in Mississippi RV accident

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June 09, 2009
PGA TOUR staff

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Pro golfer Ken Green's brother and girlfriend were killed in a a recreational vehicle accident in which Green also was hurt.

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Green was driving on Interstate 20 near Hickory, Miss., on Monday when the right front tire of his RV blew out. Green was unable to control the vehicle and ran off the road and down an embankment before hitting a large oak tree.

"All of us at the PGA TOUR are saddened by the news of this tragic accident," PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Ken Green and his family in this very difficult time."

Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Jon Kalahar said Tuesday that passengers William Y. Green, of Indiantown, Fla., and Jean Marie Hodgin, of Greensboro, N.C., were killed in the wreck. William Green is Ken Green's brother and caddie. Hodgin was the golfer's girlfriend.

Kalahar said Ken Green was not wearing his seat belt. He was flown to University Medical Center in Jackson for treatment with unspecified injuries, and was listed in good condition Tuesday.

Sgt. Malachi Sanders of the Mississippi Highway Patrol said a German shepherd also was killed. The dog is believed to be Green's longtime pet, Nip.

Sanders said it was unclear if the passengers were wearing seat belts. He described the embankment the RV traveled over as "a small cliff."

"The whole front of the RV was totally demolished," Sanders said.

Golf Digest reported that Green suffered a broken left eye orbital, and that his right leg was hurt so badly that doctors were trying to save it from amputation.

Green joined the Champions Tour since last summer when he turned 50, making his debut at the Senior British Open at Royal Troon. He made seven starts last season, with his best finish a tie for 47th at the 2008 Administaff Small Business Classic.

His results had improved this season, as he ranked 49th in Charles Schwab Cup points, having earned $123,906 in 11 starts. His best finish was a seventh at the AT&T Champions Classic. On Sunday, Green tied for 37th at the Triton Financial Classic in Austin, Texas.

News of the accident spread through the golf community Tuesday.

Malcolm McLachlan, director of the rules and competition for the Connecticut State Golf Association, and has known Green and his family for decades. They played together at the Ridgewood Country Club in Danbury where Green was a member in the 1970s.

He said Green battled his demons, but seemed to be doing well recently, making money on the Champions Tour.

"He just ran into rough times and it just kept getting worse," he said. "But he had just gotten himself a little physically and mentally better off. He made more this year than he had in the last 10 maybe. This is just terrible."

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