LPGA rules official Brecht dies from West Nile virus

Doug Brecht

Doug Brecht

Longtime LPGA rules official Doug Brecht died Friday at home in Oklahoma after a battle with West Nile virus. Brecht, 62, was hospitalized in August during the LPGA's Jamie Farr Classic in Toledo, Ohio, before being transported home.

"I talked to Doug's wife, Stephanie, and she told me that Doug passed very peacefully and with his family close by," LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement. "I'm no expert on how to grieve, but this one has hit pretty hard. There are no words that can either ease the pain of losing a member of our family, or help to fully explain or understand his passing. What I do know for certain is that Doug loved being a part of the LPGA family, and he told me on numerous occasions that he felt blessed to have a job that he loved so much. ... There was a distinctive peacefulness that always seemed to accompany Doug. No doubt, he is in a place of peace now, and he will always be remembered for his kind heart and many gifts.

Many in the golf community took to Twitter to honor Brecht. Annika Sorenstam's husband, Mike McGee, wrote, "My heart goes out to Stephanie and the family of Doug Brecht. The @lpga and golf world lost a great man. Shocking. May you RIP my friend!"

Commentator and former LPGA player Dottie Pepper wrote, "Few people truly make the world a better place. We just lost one in the @lpga's Doug Brecht. Prayers with Steph and their entire family."

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