TV commentator Newton hospitalized with meningitis

SYDNEY, Australia -- Former British Open and Masters runner-up Jack Newton is recovering in an Australian hospital after suffering from a serious form of meningitis, doctors said Wednesday.

Newton, 52, is expected to be released from a Newcastle hospital north of Sydney within five days after falling ill with meningococcal meningitis.

Newton, now a golf television commentator, writer and course designer, turned professional in 1970 and won the Dutch Open and Benson & Hedges Classic two years later.

In 1975 he was runner-up at the British Open, losing by one stroke to Tom Watson in an 18-hole playoff. After winning over 20 tournaments on four continents, Newton switched to the U.S. Tour and was runner-up to Seve Ballesteros in the 1980 Masters.

In 1983, Newton lost his right arm and the sight in his right eye when he walked into an airplane's propeller on an airport tarmac.