Clint Eastwood Saves Choking Official at Pro-Am Golf Tournament

Image: Clint Eastwood Saves Choking Official at Pro-Am Golf Tournament Clint Eastwood, left, & Steve John

Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 10:07 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Award-winning actor/director Clint Eastwood used the Heimlich maneuver to save the life of a golf official at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am event last week.

Steve John, the tournament's chief executive officer, told the Carmel Pine Cone that he felt lucky last Wednesday that Eastwood, 83, was nearby at the Pro-Am's dinner honoring volunteers when he started choking. A piece of cheese got lodged in his throat during the cocktail hour.

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John said Eastwood came up from behind him, lifted him off the ground and performed the lifesaving maneuver. 

"I was drinking water and eating these little appetizers, threw down a piece of cheese and it just didn't work," John told the Associated Press on Friday. "I was looking at him and couldn't breathe. He recognized it immediately and saved my life." 

Eastwood and other celebrities were attending the party at the Monterey Conference Center at the time of the incident.

"I saw that look in his eyes and saw that look of panic people have when they see their life passing before their eyes," Eastwood said.

Eastwood, the former mayor of Carmel and co-owner of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, told the San Jose Mercury News he then jumped into action, even though he had only practiced the Heimlich before. 

"I gave him three good jolts, and that got it out," Eastwood said. "The look on Steve's face was different than when somebody is just coughing or joking around. It looked bad."

John, 50, was selected chief executive of the Monterey Golf Foundation in 2011 and is a well-known area businessman and golf enthusiast. He oversees the popular PGA Pro-Am tournament as part of his duties.

The award-winning actor/director has played a number of heroic roles in film, like "Dirty Harry" in 1971, "Unforgiven" in 1992, "Million Dollar Baby" in 2004 and "Gran Torino" in 2008.

The volunteer party is one of the highlights for the Pro-Am week, where volunteers were entertained by this year by musician Kenny G and comedian Tom Dreesen, according to the Associated Press.

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