Playing in theShell Houston Open at Redstone Golf Club was a bittersweet experience for me.Houston was the hometown and Redstone the home course of Dick Harmon, myteacher for 14 years. He died unexpectedly of complications from pneumonia onFeb. 10 at age 58, and his loss still shocks and saddens me.
I started outtrying to make the week as normal as I could, but I guess that was never reallypossible. Every time I've come here for the last six or seven years, whether itwas for the tournament or simply to work with Dick, I stayed with him and hiswife, Nancy. So I did that again last week, but it wasn't the same. Nancy'sstill pretty emotional and needed a shoulder to lean on. We spent a lot of timetelling stories about Dick, laughing and crying. I cried a lot, but it wasgreat to remember all the good times.
My normal routinewas also broken when the club asked me to speak at the dedication of its newFirst Tee facility, named the Dick Harmon Learning Center. That was toughbecause I was caught off guard, but I was able to choke out a few words aboutDick and was happy that I could represent him.
On the course Igave my regular caddie the week off and asked one of Dick's brothers, Billy, tocarry my bag. (Like Dick, his three brothers--Craig, Butch and Billy--arewell-known teachers.) Billy and I spent a lot of time jabbering back and forth,talking about Dick. I played pretty well [Glover finished 21st], and Billy washelpful to me on the course. It was good for us to be together. I've knownBilly a long time through Dick, and we've become good friends. I think Dickwould've appreciated us sticking together and enjoying the week.
One thing thathas been very meaningful is how each of the brothers has told me personallythat if I ever need anything, just call. I've already asked for help from Butchand Billy, and I'm sure I'll ask Craig in the future. Right now Butch has beenhelping me with my game, and I think I'll continue to work with him for awhile, maybe forever.
It's great to getthe support of the brothers and Nancy, but the bottom line about the Harmons isthat they teach golf and life, and it's up to the student to figure out whichcomes first.
I know therewasn't a shot out there last week on which I didn't think of Dick, and that'sthe way it will be for a long, long time. It was a pretty emotional week forme, but it was good to remember how he helped me and my career. He was a veryspecial teacher and friend. I am privileged to have known him.
by JIM GORANT
Stuart Appleby is now the best player never to havewon a major.
STREETER LECKA/GETTY IMAGES
Glover, with Billy at the Houston Open, has stayed close to the Harmon familyfollowing Dick's death.
Chris Eliopoulos, Writer; Michael Penick, Artist; Chris Sotomayor, Color