Sitting in a cart just to the side of Deerfield Country Club’s 17th tee, the two golfers were still savoring their pars on the previous hole when they were confronted by two men wearing ski masks and flashing .38-caliber revolvers.
Melvin Philpart was playing golf in Deerfield Beach, Fla., with his cousin, Lataurus Randall, when they were approached by two gunmen who may have entered through a hole in a fence. Mr. Randall was fatally shot.
The gunmen ordered the golfers to the ground and demanded their money. One of the masked men then tussled with one of the golfers, Lataurus Randall, shooting him once in the back before both robbers fled, empty-handed, into a nearby stand of Australian pines bordering a low-income neighborhood.
Mr. Randall, a 35-year-old owner of a landscaping company who had a 9-year-old son, died in the hospital the next day. His golf partner and cousin, Melvin Philpart, who was unhurt, said he wished he had done more to help. But he said he was startled to see two masked men with guns on the golf course he has played most of his life.
“When these guys showed up, I first thought it was a joke,” said Mr. Philpart, 43, who does auto detailing in nearby Boynton Beach. “I said to one of them, ‘What do you think you’re doing out here? This is a golf course…’ ”
Golfers are frequently warned in some pro shops to be vigilant. Some golfers now say they carry their wallets and keys, rather than leaving them in the golf carts…
The shooting, on Jan. 13, has baffled the police and continues to attract interest in the local news media and among golf bloggers, who warn that the shooting is a reminder that players should always be on the lookout, even on the greens.
“Clearly, no one should play golf in fear,” Bart Pfankuch, a Southwest Florida golf blogger, wrote. “But it is worth a reminder to keep an eye out, and your instincts plugged in, whenever approached by someone who does not have a clear reason to be on the course.”
Life in these United States.
No, I’m not kidding.