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Wife Fills In as Caddie for Lehman

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The most popular caddie not named Fluff in Friday’s second round of the Nissan Open at Valencia Country Club was Melissa Lehman, Tom Lehman’s wife.

Melissa, who used to caddie for Tom on the Hogan (now Nike) Tour in the mid-1990s, was an emergency replacement for Andy Martinez, Tom’s regular caddie.

Martinez, who has carried Lehman’s bag since 1992, suffered two broken ribs while playing a pickup basketball game with an old high school friend Wednesday night.

When the Lehmans walked off the course, Melissa signed as many autographs as Tom. Mike “Fluff” Cowan, Tiger Woods’ well-known caddie, usually runs into a similar predicament.

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“It’s been that way every time I caddie for him,” Melissa said. “They want me to sign right next to Tom. I used to put a little heart between [the signatures], but that was corny.”

Melissa skipped caddie duty Thursday because a special-ordered carry bag had not arrived and she did not want to lug Tom’s much heavier regular tour bag.

“No way, Jose. I wouldn’t do it,” Melissa said. “I asked Tom’s agent, who is his brother, if we could get a special bag. He said yes, as long as you don’t make out in the middle of the fairway.”

Martinez, who carried Johnny Miller’s bag for 13 years, had not missed a scheduled tournament in 29 years.

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Notables who missed the cut: Two-time Nissan Open champions Craig Stadler and Corey Pavin, 1997 British Open champion Justin Leonard, and Steve Pate, who is ninth on the 1998 money list.

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Alumni of local universities didn’t fare too well.

Two of the three former USC players entered did not make the cut: Stadler and Dave Stockton Jr. Scott Simpson is the lone former Trojan left.

Four of the six UCLA alums entered did not make the cut: Pavin, Pate, Scott McCarron and Roger Gunn. Current UCLA Coach Brad Sherfy, a qualifier, also missed the cut.

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Rick Fehr made a hole in one on the 172-yard, par-three third hole.

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Fehr, who used a five-iron, jumped into contention with the ace. He is two shots behind leader Billy Mayfair in a tie for fifth with Scott Hoch.

Fehr’s was the eighth ace on the PGA Tour this season.


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