Veteran LPGA Official Dies Of West Nile Virus

Allan Henry-US Presswire

LPGA rules official Doug Brecht died Friday after battling the West Nile virus as well as complications from meningitis. He was 62 years old and was hospitalized this summer after officiating the Jamie Farr Classic in Toledo.

Brecht (pictured with Victoria Tanco at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup last March), was a part of the LPGA rules team for 22 years. He was on the Oklahoma University golf team in the 1970s and was the women’s golf coach at the college from 1982 to 1985.

Brecht had a reputation for his great love of the tradition of the game as well as being a stickler about slow play.

In an official statement from the LPGA’s Mike Whan: “His passing will literally be felt by the thousands of people he knew. I talked to Doug’s wife Stephanie, and she told me that Doug passed very peacefully, and with his family close-by. I’m no expert on how to grieve, but this one has hit pretty hard. There are no words that can either ease the pain of losing a member of our family, or help to fully explain or understand his passing.

“What I do know for certain is that Doug loved being a part of the LPGA family, and he told me – on numerous occasions – that he felt blessed to have a job that he loved so much. Personally, there was a distinctive peacefulness that always seemed to accompany Doug. No doubt, he is in a place of peace now and he will always be remembered for his kind heart and many gifts.”

On The Golf Channel‘s “Morning Drive” show this week, the hosts discussed the importance Brecht had to the LPGA. They said he was a hallmark of a great official and was always ready to talk about a ruling.

Dottie Pepper told them Brecht had a positive attitude about his job, his sport and those who were involved with it. She said he was a friend and the entire LPGA was torn up about the loss. In addition, she said he truly loved the game and what it stood for. In a tweet, she commented “Few people truly make the world a better place.”

Memorial services will be held on Thursday in Norman, Okla.

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