CLEVELAND – It’s something of a miracle that Lisa McCloskey made it to her 21st birthday. The accident-prone McCloskey – wearing a white bandage across the bridge of her nose – gave herself a nice birthday present Aug. 7 with a 2-under 70 in the second round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur, easily advancing to match play at The Country Club. No, she didn’t get punched in the face. Yes, she did walk into a metal pole.
McCloskey, a 2012 Curtis Cup member, isn’t going to let a small nose fracture keep her from that allusive USGA crown. Heck, that’s nothing compared to all the freakish things that have happened to her over the years.
While a freshman at Pepperdine, McCloskey drove a golf cart over a bridge and into a waterfall at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles. Playing in a school fundraiser, McCloskey hydro-planed her cart and flipped it, landing in the rocky pond on No. 17. Fortunately, she suffered only what she believed was a minor concussion and sprained ankle. She also lost a few articles of clothing along the way but managed to keep her pants on.
“I remember thinking ‘This is it; I’m going to die,’ ” McCloskey said.
Then there’s the time she was driving down Highway 101 and a hammer fell out of the tool box of a workman’s trunk, shattering her windshield. Luckily, she didn’t jerk the steering wheel when she ducked, thereby avoiding any massive collisions.
When McCloskey broke the NCAA scoring record in the fall of 2008 at the Las Vegas Collegiate Shootout with a bogey-free 17-under 199, she was wearing a large bandage on her shin. She had been given dry ice earlier to help with shin splints and put the package directly on her right leg. That led to frostbite.
She then had an appendectomy over the winter break.
It’s no wonder that she and her Pepperdine teammates made a list of 200 strange things that had happened to them over the years.
Back at Trump National, this time playing for Southern Cal, McCloskey was on the back end of the range sitting in a cart. On the front of the range, a demonstration was going on and a PGA Tour player was out pounding drives. Amazingly, one of the Tour player’s shots hit the cart path and bounced up, hitting McCloskey (still in the cart) right beside the eye, dangerously close to her temple. Needless to say, it left a mark.
McCloskey had to sit out during NCAA action her junior year at USC with a rib injury. She thinks she strained it hitting out of the rough (a lot) at the Kraft Nabisco Championship that spring.
“I was so lucky nothing major happened to me,” said McCloskey, referring to the waterfall incident, though really it could’ve been said about any one of these misadventures.
McCloskey can laugh about all of them now. But a little friendly advice: Don’t get too close.