CSI: Pinehurst
By Torleif Sorenson on 6/17/14

Jeff Rude of Golfweek has what might be the most bizarre story from the men's U.S. Open at Pinehurst last week.

It seems that a long-time friend of one of the best on-course reporters in golf, NBC's Roger Maltbie, was driving Maltbie around Pinehurst #2 during the U.S. Open TV coverage. Not only is Maltbie a busy reporter, but at age 62, he understandably deserves to have some transportation around the 7,500-yard #2 Course.

But on Saturday at the 11th tee, while Martin Kaymer was driving his ball, Maltbie's friend and chauffeur was driving afoul of the law — big time:
The trooper, identified in the arrest report as Ryan Ashley Goodin, was upset because he said the driver, identified as Thomas Howerton Lineberry, 59, of Wilmington, ran over his foot when leaving the tee area. Goodin then chased the cart on a sandy surface just outside the gallery ropes while yelling, "Stop! Stop!" and "Come back here!"

The trooper finally caught up, climbed onto the back of the cart and put his arms around Lineberry's neck and shoulders from behind. As Maltbie came over to try to help his friend and colleague, Goodin handcuffed the suspect from behind and arrested him.
Rude further reports that the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said that Lineberry was taken to Moore County Jail. The Fayetteville Observer observed that Lineberry was arrested and later charged with four criminal counts:
  • Felony assault on a law-enforcement officer;

  • Felony hit and run;

  • Driving while impaired;

  • Resisting, obstructing and delaying a law enforcement officer.

Officer Goodin was treated for a leg injury and released later.

We at oobgolf bear no disrespect toward Roger Maltbie. On the other hand, his friend has no excuse.

Tens of thousands of "don't drink and drive" spots have been broadcast on radio and television for decades. And when someone is working at a very crowded major international sporting event, for a major media outlet, that person is even more compelled to mind their proverbial Ps and Qs. And when that person is 59 years old and is supposed to know better, then there is absolutely no excuse.

We hope the State of North Carolina will throw the book at Mr. Lushberry Lineberry and keep him in prison for a good, long while. And we're sure that NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus will use the episode of Lushberry Lineberry as an example to everyone in his division — especially his golf crew, who remain in Pinehurst this week to televise the U.S. Women's Open.

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[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
I don't believe that it has been determined whether the driver was impaired and, if so, what caused the impairment. Certainly if Mr. Lineberry was legally impaired he should be held accountable for his actions. Torleif, you seem to be jumping to conclusions.
Jattruia says:
Couldn't agree more Brian. And did he run over his foot with a golf cart? This seems a little aggressive, no?
Torleif Sorenson says:
Mr. Rude included this text in his story: "They did take a test, and there was suspicion of an impairment, potentially drugs," said Pam Walker, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety.
bkuehn1952 says:
Right, a test was taken but the results were not known. Once the test results are made known, everyone should feel free to pile on.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Fair enough. Good point, Brian.
chipotle mg says:
The article does not say forsure if the driver was drinking and it is also unclear from the article that the driver heard the trooper yelling at him to stop after the incident. It is possible that it was an accident and that the driver was apparently unaware he had run over someone's foot. If he was unable to control the cart due to influence of alcohol then the charges seem to be warrented, if it was just an accident , he should have stopped the cart regardless. If he did not know he had brushed someone, then, come on it's not that hard, don't hit people with a golf cart.
Duke of Hazards says:
The trooper sounds like an a-hole. That being said, those media dudes at golf tournaments drive recklessly. I almost got backed over by Jim Gray in 2011 at the Northern Trust. Incidentally, he got fired from the Golf Channel right after that tournament for running his mouth and antagonizing a caddy. Jackass.
jfurr says:
The troopers at that place were all bowed up. On number nine I noticed this one officer who looked like he was about to implode on Thursday and I was trying to figure out like why he thought he was carrying the nuclear go codes or something.

This reaction by the cop seems to be rage. It is crowded. Really, you have to chase down and choke-hold a guy (who could have then lost control of the cart and hit somebody else), and then try to charge them with felony offenses? In what world is that a rational response? The guy was on a power trip.
BIGBRU says:
I agree with jfurr. Felony assault on a police officer, felony hit and run? Sounds like the cop caught the driver of a bank getaway car. More than a slight over reaction on the officer's part, and not the first that I'm aware of. Some of those guys take themselves a tad too seriously, especially in that environment.
jasonfish11 says:
I'm on the fence. If the drug results come back that he was impaired. Then great throw the book at him.

Assuming his acts were really egregious (I wasn't there I dont know). Had he done the same thing except instead of hitting a cop hit my kid. I'd probably be the one facing felony charges.

That being said it could just be an a-hole cop trying to show how awesome he is.
stringbean79 says:
Typical cop doing his best to uphold the stereotype.

I think i read over at weiunderpar.com that the trooper wasn't letting them through the line of spectators so they tried to go around.
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