When Beatriz Recari was playing in her first round at her first LPGA tournament at La Costa, she noticed a man following her, who was behaving like her personal cheerleader and calling out things like, “Let’s go, Beatriz!”
Recari had befriended a Spanish couple — let’s call them the Garcias — who were walking with her, too. The strange man struck up conversation with the Garcias. The three became friendly being that they shared a common interest, Recari.
Strange man followed not only every round at La Costa, but every move she made. If she’d go to the driving range, he was there. Same with the chipping green. And the putting green.
His behavior started to seem borderline creepy, but she shrugged it off and just thought he was an over-zealous fan. “He’s an old man, whatever,” she told herself.
On the last day of the tournament, she signed her hat, gave it to strange man and thanked him for his support. I mean, what was the harm? She wouldn’t see him again, anyway. Wrong.
Sadly, Recari’s polite and friendly efforts were misinterpreted by the strange, old man, and his stalker-y behavior intensified.
The other week — two months since La Costa, she received an email from the Garcias, whom she had stayed in touch with (they even went to watch her play in the Mojo 6 in Jamaica, but not in a creepy way), saying strange guy from La Costa wanted to see her play in Alabama.
“I said, sure,” Beatriz told me. ” I thought, why not? I mean, if he wants to come, then come. I can’t do anything. I didn’t think it was a big deal. It turned out to be a pain the ass last Thursday [at the Bell Micro Classic in Mobile, AL].”
Strange man — excuse me, now he’s officially the stalker — over-reacted to every shot she hit. Even the bad ones. Hell, if she had duffed it in the water, he would have still thought it was the greatest shot in the world.
Starting on the first tee, he clapped and cheered incredibly loud. “He was really over-the-top,” she described. Her playing partners noticed his over-exuberance for Recari. It only took them until the second hole to ask her who he was. “Is he a housing guy or something?”
“No, he’s just a fan,” she replied. Or a stalker.
He also showered her with presents. Like stuff from the merchandise store. He bought her a shirt with the Bell Micro logo and a hat, too. Another clear indication he had a few screws loose. The last things a professional golfer needs are another golf shirt and hat.
“It was just too much,” Recari reiterated.
The stalker-y fan was also conveniently staying at the same hotel as her. Finally, on Friday, she called the LPGA to ask them for help with the troublesome matter. “I felt very uncomfortable, so I asked if they could deal with him.”
Two security guards walked with her in the second round.
Apparently the stalker didn’t get the message. He continued to send her emails. She blocked him. But presumably, he emailed her from a different account because somehow a “really long” one came through earlier this week. “I didn’t read it,” she said. “I just immediately forwarded it to the LPGA head of security as I’d been instructed.”
“There are so many things out there that I already have to deal with just playing golf. The past few months have been a learning process for me. It’s only been four tournaments and I’m just adapting to everything.”
Well, usually that doesn’t and shouldn’t entail a stalker. Has she been worried this week he’ll show up again?
“I wasn’t concerned about it,” Recari said. “I knew that was an incident from last week. That was it.”
In other words, it’s in the past and she just wants to move on and play golf.