A Golf Story

November 1, 1994
Soap Opera Weekly

Michael Tylo (BLADE, The Young And The Restless) came within inches of losing his life recently when he took to the green for a charitable game of golf and was nearly struck by a lightning. Michael, who was participating in the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic in Cary, N.C., to raise money for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, insists he'll never forget the harrowing experience.

"We had played about six, seven holes," says Michael, who was teamed with three local businessmen. "I went out and teed off. Then the clouds just got darker all of a sudden. I hadn't been back East in a long time, so I forgot the way storms just roll in. Anyway, I was lining up a putt and standing over the ball when lighting struck right above my head and hit a tree. It was like a bomb exploding.

"The shafts of our clubs were metal, the spikes on our shoes were metal. All four of us hit the ground," he continues, noting that it was a combination of the lightning's force and survival instinct that landed them there. "Then we crawled off the green as fast as we could, got into the carts and drove back to the clubhouse. We were all pretty shook up. We'd just been through a near-death experience - so we decided to have a shot and a beer to calm down."

Michael is no stranger to Mother Nature's wrath. "As a kid I went through hurricans down in Florida," he says. "I also remember hiding in my folks' basement from tornadoes while we were living in Michigan. And when I first started out as an actor in Kansas City, Mo., I went through what they call a 'thousand-year-rain.' It rained 12 inches within a 24-hour period and completely flooded the city. So I've been around a lot of natural disasters."

However, his close call with lightning was the most frightening. "It was so quick and there was no decision [to make]. Six inches lower, and I would have been fried."

While his life didn't exactly flash before his eyes, Michael says that he did "re-evaluate" a few things on the cart ride back to the clubhouse. "I immediately called the kids just to say hello - before I even got to the bar," he laughs. "It just proves once again that you never know when your time is, but if you're still around, somebody upstairs must have a reason for you to hang out."

click to enlarge