Doug Brecht, LPGA rules official, dies

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The LPGA Tour says longtime rules official Doug Brecht has died after a three-month battle with the West Nile virus. He was 62.

Brecht was hospitalized in August during the Jamie Farr Classic in Toledo, Ohio. He later was transferred to his home in Oklahoma to continue fighting the virus. LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan said Brecht's wife told him he died peacefully Friday with his family close around him.

"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," Whan said in a statement.

"Personally, there was a distinctive peacefulness that always seemed to accompany Doug," Whan added. "No doubt, he is in a place of peace now and he will always be remembered for his kind heart and many gifts."

Brecht was one of several officials on site at LPGA tournaments that helped the pros whenever the rules of golf came into question.

"We have lost a wonderful man, one of our strongest ambassadors, and a proud member of the golf industry," LPGA chief communications officer Kraig Kann said in a statement.

Brecht played college golf for Oklahoma in the early 1970s and coached women's golf at the school from 1982 to 1985. As an LPGA rules official, he was vigilant against slow play and penalized Morgan Pressel during the final of the Match Play Championship in May.

The LPGA said memorial services have not been scheduled.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.