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Ex-Golf Pro Wounds Man, Kills Self

January 8, 1998

MOUNT DORA, Fla. (AP) _ An 85-year-old former professional golfer shot the manager of a public golf course twice in the chest Wednesday, then killed himself in the pro shop.

Ernie Tardiff was angry at being reprimanded by the facility’s management for driving his golf cart on the green and disrupting others’ games by moving to tees before they were done, said police investigator Guy Dailey.

The board of directors of the Mount Dora Golf Association had written Tardiff several letters and threatened to suspend him from the course.

``That’s what set him off,″ Dailey said.

Police said Tardiff walked into the pro shop Wednesday morning with a copy of a letter in his pocket and shot 58-year-old Douglas Passen.

Passen staggered out and collapsed on the green, where a group of men had begun teeing off. Tardiff walked back into the shop to call police, then turned the gun on himself.

Passen was listed in stable condition after surgery at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Tardiff was a minor player on the PGA tour from 1948 to 1954. He also played on the Senior Tour from 1980 to 1986, winning a total of $2,100.

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