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Golfer David Toms in critical condition

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Toms in critical condition

Golfer rushed to hospital after developing rapid pulse

Posted: Thursday September 15, 2005 6:17PM; Updated: Thursday September 15, 2005 8:29PM

FARMINGTON, Pa. (AP) -- David Toms was in critical condition with an apparent heart problem after developing a rapid pulse during the 84 Lumber Classic on Thursday and being rushed by helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital.

Toms was even par through nine holes -- he started on No. 18 -- before being taken off the course on a stretcher, according to PGA Tour officials. He was taken first to Uniontown Hospital, then was flown to Pittsburgh's UPMC-Presbyterian University Hospital.

Toms' caddie, Scott Gneiser, told The Associated Press that Toms was airlifted to Pittsburgh because "his heart rate went way up." Adam Young, the director of the David Toms Foundation, said Toms' condition had stabilized, but the hospital subsequently downgraded his condition.

There was no immediate word on what Toms' specific problem was.

"He was clutching his chest and said he couldn't breathe," said tournament co-leader Shaun Micheel, who was paired with Toms. "It shook me up. He went down to his knee, got up and walked a few steps and then went back to his knee. When an ambulance backs up to the first tee, it tells you it's a little more serious."

The 38-year-old Toms, an 11-time Tour winner, was playing in the $4.4 million 84 Lumber tournament as a tuneup for next week's Presidents Cup in Virginia. The 2001 PGA Championship winner also won the Accenture Match Play Classic earlier this year, and is fourth on the 2005 money list with earnings of $3,656,213.

This is the second time this week one of golf's best-known players was rushed to a hospital with a heart-related problem. Meg Mallon was taken to an Indianapolis hospital on Sunday after her heart began beating as many as 290 times a minute shortly after the closing ceremony at the Solheim Cup in Carmel, Ind.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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