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Jim Flick Passes Away
A day after one of his prized pupils and best friends, Tom Lehman, won the Champions Tour's final event of the year, revered golf instructor Jim Flick passed away Monday at his home in Carlsbad, Calif. at 1:20 p.m. He was 82.
Flick, who had been suffering from inoperable pancreatic cancer, watched on TV Sunday as Lehman closed with a 5-under 65 to win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship and, along with it, the Charles Schwab Cup, the Champions Tour's season-long points' race.
After accepting the winner's check of $440,000 and the $1 million annuity that goes to the year's Cup recipient, an emotional Lehman told Jack Magruder of Fox Sports Arizona, "I know I wanted to be able to finish this tournament and give him a call and tell him that this one's for you. No doubt about that. There was a little bit of karma or something," added Lehman, who worked with Flick since 1990.
Lehman also said it was tough focusing on the task at hand in the final round because of the memories he had with Flick as the two spent a lot of time on the host course for the championship, the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., where Lehman makes his home.
"I remember specifically one afternoon he and I being out on the eighth hole hitting 3-woods down the hill toward that green. We probably spent half an hour just back there hitting shots. Those are the kind of things you think about. But the more I thought about that, the more teary-eyed I got, so I decided I can't play this round of golf with tears in my eyes," Lehman noted.
He also told Magruder (for the full article, visit http://www.foxsportsarizona.com/11/04/12/Emotional-Lehman-wins-Schwab-Cup-for-Fli/landing.html?blockID=814775&feedID=3702) that he played the 72nd hole for Flick, who he knew was close to passing. "I know that he was probably watching today, and I felt quite certain that that was probably the last driver he was ever going to see me hit, and I wanted to make it a good one," said Lehman, who birdied the par-5 closer to win by six strokes over Jay Haas.
"It was the last 7-iron he'll ever see me hit, and I wanted to make that a good one. The last putt, I wanted to make that putt. I didn't want to make it so I would win by six. I wanted to make it for him."
In addition to Lehman, Flick's students included Jack Nicklaus.
The family released the following statement announcing Flick's passing on equipment maker's TaylorMade website (http://news.tmag.com/US/TAYLORMADE-NEWSFEED/PRESS-RELEASES/official-announcement-from-the-flick-family/s/f255e48c-725c-47f1-9cda-4a283af9f066):
"Known widely in the golf world for his knowledge of the swing, enthusiasm for teaching and boundless energy, Flick left a permanent mark on the game. Throughout his five decades as an instructor he authored several books, hundreds of magazine articles, made numerous appearances on the Golf Channel and, most important, gave hundreds of thousands of lessons. He worked with numerous Tour professionals including long-time student Tom Lehman, winner of the 1996 Open Championship and 2012 Charles Schwab Cup; and in 1990 Jack Nicklaus entrusted Flick to monitor his swing.
"Yet for all the work Flick did with accomplished players, he said often that the most rewarding of all his students were juniors. Though he lived to teach, Flick himself never stopped learning, and one of things the game taught him, he said last week, was that golf is not about searching for the perfect swing or working at golf - it's about playing golf. Details about a memorial service will be announced when confirmed by the Flick family."
For more information about Jim Flick and his stellar career, visit http://www.pga.com/pga-america/pga-feature/jim-flick-one-golfs-most-prolific-and-influential-instructors-dies-age-82.