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Man allegedly hits trooper with golf cart at U.S. Open; charged with DWI, assault

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2014 | General |

It was definitely the worst drive at the U.S. Open.

And it wasn’t done with a golf club.

According to State Trooper Ryan A. Goodin, Tommy Lineberry kept on driving a golf cart at the Open on Saturday even after the trooper said to stop.  Lineberry then allegedly ran over the trooper’s foot, and kept on rolling.

Driving a golf cart while allegedly being impaired can result in charges.

Thomas Howerton Lineberry, 59, of Wilmington, was charged with felony assault on a law enforcement officer; felony hit and run; resisting, obstructing and delaying a law enforcement officer – and DWI.

According to news reports, Lineberry was driving the cart for NBC Sports analyst Roger Maltbie, who was walking nearby. Near the 11th tee, Goodin, who was holding back traffic, told Lineberry to stop the cart. Lineberry is said to have protested that he was “supposed to get the cart to Roger,” to which Goodin, leaning in and perhaps catching a whiff of the driver’s breath, responded: “When a state trooper tells you to stop, that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

After Lineberry mashed the trooper’s foot, reports say, the officer collected the names of some witnesses, and then ran after Lineberry and arrested him.

Goodin was treated at the State Highway Patrol medical trailer, and was found not to be seriously hurt.

Lineberry was released from jail after putting up a $3,000 bond Saturday night. He is due to appear in Moore County District Court on July 8.

Maltbie, a long-time friend of Lineberry, commented, “This is a new one. I’ve been to a couple of rodeos and a county fair, and I’ve never had this happen.”

Well, perhaps. I’d suspect that more than a few golf carts have been jockeyed from the 1st tee to the 18th hole by drivers handicapped by a few belts under the belts of their golf slacks. But allegedly doing so at the U.S. Open would probably one of the worst ideas in golf history, considering that about 170 N.C. state troopers were there assisting with security.

Now that’s quite a trap. And there’s little doubt that alcohol can precipitate a fall. Drinking leads to bad decisions. One of them is driving while drinking – though usually one thinks of driving a vehicle on the highway. But drinking and driving anything anywhere is a bad decision – be it a golf cart, a lawn mower, a four-wheeler, a bicycle, or a pair of roller skates. Another bad decision is getting teed off at a trooper – or getting him teed off at you by running over his foot at a professional golf tournament.