CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA | Mark Russell eased his golf cart off the path into a shady spot to the left of the eighth hole at Quail Hollow Club last Saturday. He sat and watched the people walk by. The sun was out, the air was warm, and the wind was swaying the tops of the big oak trees as the Wells Fargo Championship played out around him.
For 40-plus years, Russell has been a PGA Tour rules official and he’s in the final months of his job. Like his colleague Slugger White, who joined the tour as a rules official in 1982 and will make the Memorial Tournament next month his finale, the 69-year-old Russell will leave the duties of making rules decisions and dealing with weather issues to others. In their own ways – White with his Panama hat and Russell with his slow southern drawl – they have been integral to the tour’s expansion and success through the years. They get enough TV time that they are familiar to fans even if they don’t always know who is who.
“You’re the man, dude. You are the man,” a pointing fan says upon recogniz...
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