Eastwood attended a volunteer party on the eve of the PGA Tour event when he noticed tournament director Steve John choking on a piece of cheese. The 83-year-old actor quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver Wednesday night at the Monterey Conference Center.
“I was drinking water and eating these little appetizers, threw down a piece of cheese and it just didn’t work,” John said Friday. “I was looking at him and couldn’t breathe. He recognized it immediately and saved my life.”
Eastwood is a prominent figure at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, formerly as an amateur contestant and now as chairman of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. It has raised over $100 million for charity as the host of the PGA Tour event.
He’s often in the CBS tower on the weekend and presents the trophy to the winner, a list that includes Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker in recent years.
The Hollywood star wasn’t expecting an additional duty this week.
“I looked in his eyes and saw that look of panic people have when they see their life passing before their eyes,” Eastwood told The Carmel Pine Cone. “It looked bad.”
He said it was the first time he had used the Heimlich maneuver.
“I can’t believe I’m 202 pounds and he threw me up in the air three times,” John said.
The party is one of the biggest nights of the week. Volunteers are entertained by the celebrities such as musician Kenny G and comedian Tom Dreesen.
The 50-year-old John said it was the second time in his life someone had to perform the Heimlich on him.
“It was in Colorado about seven or eight years ago. But it wasn’t Clint Eastwood,” he said. “I haven’t talked to him since that night. It was crazy.”
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