Claim: A golfer in the habit of carrying his tee in his mouth while playing holes grows sicker and sicker over the course of a few days and then drops dead. A post-mortem reveals that the golfer had ingested a lethal dose of the pesticide sprayed on the golf course.
Origins: Although a few of the details have been changed, this legend is based on real-life incident.
1982, Navy Lieutenant George M.Prior, 30, played 36 holes of golf at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA. Even before the last hole Prior was complaining of a headache; by nightfall he was feverish and nauseated and had developed a rash. Four days later Prior was in Bethesda Naval Hospital with a 104.5 degree fever, his body covered with blisters. He died ten days later after a toxic substance had burned the skin from 80% of his body and caused his major organs to fail. The toxic substance was determined to be Daconil, an FDA-approved fungicide that had been sprayed on the Army-Navy golf course twice a week. Prior apparently had a hypersensitivity to the chemical used in the fungicide, causing a severe allergic reaction. His widow filed a $20 million lawsuit against the manufacturer, Diamond Shamrock Chemical Company; the lawsuit was eventually settled out of court.
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