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Subject: Forrest Fezler, Golfer remembered for protesting USGA by playing 18th hole of 1983 U.S. Open wearing shorts.


Author:
Dies at 69
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Date Posted: Saturday, December 22, 04:18:01am

http://www.golfdigest.com/story/forrest-fezler-remembered-for-protesting-usga-by-playing-18th-hole-of-1983-us-open-wearing-shorts-has-died


Forrest Fezler won a PGA Tour event and worked alongside renowned course architect Mike Strantz on many of his most notable projects, including his last, the renovation of the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club.

Yet Fezler was best known and will forever be remembered for changing into “Larry Bird-length” shorts in a port-a-john between the 17th green and 18th tee in the 1983 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club.

“I went brain dead for a few minutes of my life and it brought me publicity for 30-some years,” he said in 2016. “I’m glad I did it.”

Fezler, 69, died on Friday. He had been battling brain cancer, his son Jordan noted earlier this week on Twitter.

In 1974, Fezler won the Southern Open and finished second in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

Fezler intended to make the 1983 season his last playing full-time on the PGA Tour. Two years earlier, in the U.S. Open at Merion, he and John Schroeder were both penalized for slow play. They argued their case and the penalties were rescinded, but Fezler’s anger lingered.

“What could I do to protest what happened a couple of years earlier and not get in trouble for?” he wrote on his website. “I figured shorts was the answer. It was not against the USGA dress policy and it was hot so why not.”

He wrote the temperature inside the cramped Port-a-John “was about 2000 degrees,” but he managed to change into Bermuda shorts.

“I ran up to the 18th tee barely able to breathe, eyes were watering, couldn’t see the ball. I was shaking and more scared than any time in my life. My heart was beating so fast. Thought I could pass out.”

Fezler, 69, died on Friday. He had been battling brain cancer, his son Jordan noted earlier this week on Twitter.

In 1974, Fezler won the Southern Open and finished second in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

Fezler intended to make the 1983 season his last playing full-time on the PGA Tour. Two years earlier, in the U.S. Open at Merion, he and John Schroeder were both penalized for slow play. They argued their case and the penalties were rescinded, but Fezler’s anger lingered.

“What could I do to protest what happened a couple of years earlier and not get in trouble for?” he wrote on his website. “I figured shorts was the answer. It was not against the USGA dress policy and it was hot so why not.”

He wrote the temperature inside the cramped Port-a-John “was about 2000 degrees,” but he managed to change into Bermuda shorts.

“I ran up to the 18th tee barely able to breathe, eyes were watering, couldn’t see the ball. I was shaking and more scared than any time in my life. My heart was beating so fast. Thought I could pass out.”

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