The sportswriter hunk and the golf babe

Jan Stephenson, the LPGA’s pinup girl from the mid-80s, has always been a source of friction between The Wife and I, so the woman of the house was none too pleased when I announced recently that Jan was coming to Evansville to visit me.

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Yes, visit me. And probably a half dozen other members of the media for one-on-one interviews. But really, he intention was just to visit me since I’m 110 percent certain that no one else in this town was fortunate enough to have the experience I had in 1986.

It was at the Furman Pro-Am, a fundraiser for the university’s women’s golf program that is still held because of the dedication of former Paladin golfers Beth Daniel and Betsy King. Each year a dozen or so other current or former LPGA stars show up in Greenville, S.C., and play in foursomes with donors.

In 1986, Stephenson made one of her appearances toting a bunch of pinup calendars that equipment sponsor MaxFli had produced. Anyway, I was on a mission to interview Jan and scored big time when she invited me to sit with her in a golf cart.

Alas, that’s as wild as the fantasy gets — dang reality.

But I’m sure our legs had to touch, which someone makes my brush with Jan all the more meaningful. Shhhush, I never told The Wife that intimate detail.  It’s that calendar, which included a risque photo of Jan in a bathtub with apparently nothing covering her but golf balls, that caused mucho friction with The Wife.

At the time she was a stay-at-home mom (when she wasn’t taking classes) and we had an 8-year-old daughter, a 5-year-old son and another son who may have turned two by then. And I had my moment with Jan.

Anyway, that meeting has forever been listed in my bio through the years as I recap some of my career highlights. Click on my bio on this blog if you don’t believe me.

Flash forward 27 years later, and my second date with Jan came in the newsroom here at the Courier & Press. When I showed her the bio reference and told her of our first meeting, she graciously claimed to remember our time alone in the golf cart.

“No, you don’t,” I replied.

‘Yes I do,” she said.

“No you don’t,” I responded again, too stupid to ask her to share the details that she remembers from that encounter.

“Yes, I do remember. I didn’t until you reminded me, but I do remember meeting you,” she insisted.

“Nah,” I said, too stupid to let a sex symbol flatter me.

Of course, there’s no way she could have remembered. I was 30 pounds lighter, had hair and was still relatively fit. Heck, I was still playing soccer, so I was in semi-terrific shape..

Wait … Maybe she does remembers me. But even better, this time she insisted on being photographed with me so we would have a scrapbook memory to share.

It’s too good a memory not to share with all of my loyal readers.

Yes, it’s good to be me.

 

This entry was posted in Personal reflections by Randy Beard. Bookmark the permalink.

About Randy Beard

Randy Beard has been at the Courier & Press since 2007 and became the sports editor in 2012. He has previously been a sports editor at the Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail and the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat. He began his professional sports journalist career in 1976 and has spent his career primarily covering college sports in the ACC, SEC and Big Ten. He's also covered the NFL, the original North American Soccer League and professional tennis and golf. He's covered two Super Bowls, three college football national championship games, dozens of NCAA basketball tournament games, an Olympics, a World Cup and once hung out with soccer legend George Best for two days and sat in a golf cart with Jan Stephenson.

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