“The post-script is more bizarre than the actual incident,” says Jeff Rude.
Rude was covering the 2014 US Open golf tournament in Pinehurst when he saw most of it unfold.
Tommy Lineberry is a man from Greensboro who was – as he often had, in the past – working with his longtime friend, Roger Maltbie, at the Open. Lineberry and Maltbie met 40 years ago, when Maltbie was rookie on the PGA Tour.
They became fast friends and, once Maltbie transitioned into broadcasting, Tommy occasionally helped him by driving the cart Maltbie needed to get between holes to cover the tournament for NBC Sports.
“Tommy dropped me off by the 10th green and he said, ‘I’m going to get some ice and Diet Cokes and I’ll meet you by the 11th tee,'" says Maltbie.
Only, Tommy never got there. As he began to drive his cart across a crosswalk, “An arm came around my shoulder and neck and yanked me out of the cart,” Tommy sighs.
“A gruesome scene – a total overreaction,” says Rude.
“He was hot,” says Tommy. “He was mad.”
The officer had, evidently, commanded Lineberry to stop.
“Tommy was wearing a headset and I think he didn’t hear the officer,” says Maltbie.
“He said, 'You hit me!' And I said - didn't mean anything by it - I said, 'No, I don't think I did.' And that made him madder and he put the handcuffs on me,” says Lineberry.
The full story of what happened – and what it’s done to Tommy Lineberry’s life – in this edition of the Buckley Report.