Routine golf match turns one PHS golfer into a hero

Savannah Ostler and Mia Irvin

Pottle and other golfers saved a man's life
Maria Armador
Pottle and other golfers saved a man’s life

Most athletes prior to any game, prepare themselves for the battle ahead. Whether it’s reviewing their shot motion-for-motion, going over their technique step by step, or practicing their swing over and over. That is normally how athletes get themselves mentally ready for their game.

Senior golfer Brad Pottle is no exception. Before his match Saturday against Williams Field and Hamilton, Pottle was simply thinking about one thing: golf. However, there are certain things, no one can prepare themselves for.
Pottle teed off at the first hole just like he would any other game. The second hole was normal too. In fact, the third and fourth were nothing out of the ordinary either. It was at the fifth hole that everything began to change. Pottle and some other local golfers from Hamilton and Williams Field could hear screaming. “We were on the fifth hole. We hit our tee shots, and then we heard some lady screaming,” Pottle said.

At first, it did not seem serious or uncommon, but when the screams began to get desperate, and even explicit that the golfers took action. “We almost left, but then she started saying things like the ‘f’ word, like ‘someone [explicit] help me,’” Pottle explained. “I was like, ‘Oh we should … go over there.’”

The golfers armed themselves with clubs and entered the bushes. As they rounded the corner, what they saw surprised them. “We were expecting a mountain lion or that she was getting raped, … but we turned the corner and there was a [man] hanging himself in a tree. So we went over and picked up his feet and then I left because no one was calling 911 and so I went to go find an adult,” elaborated Pottle.

After they got the man down from the tree, the group of golfers returned to their match. “I didn’t know that I had a chance to win,” Pottle admitted. “I was so overwhelmed with the fact that this [man] just tried to hang himself.”
A police officer found them a couple holes later, and told them the man was stable. “The cop came out on my 13th hole and [told us the man was fine and] he was in a mental hospital.”

Pottle ended up receiving second place but did not know about it until his coach, John Lowery, told him at the end of the match. He may have ended up getting second overall, but the real reward was saving the man’s life.
Head Coach Lowery did not help get the man down from the tree but he did see the aftermath of the attempted suicide. “The biggest thing is the kids reacted in a manner without thought,” Coach Lowery said. “They saved a man’s life.”

Perry golf has been impacted by this event and in response, they are holding a Suicide Awareness ryder cup at the end of the year against Hamilton. The cup is in the beginning stages right now, but the idea is, “We’re going to play against Hamilton but our goal is to do a fundraiser, not only for our golf teams, but we’ll give away 50% of our funds to one of two different groups that we’re working with, it would either be Suicide Prevention or for families that have lost someone,” Lowery clarified.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicide, please do not hesitate to call this number: 1-800-631-1314.