July16: Danbury News, “No More Surgery”

“Danbury Golfer Ken Green Won’t Need More Surgery”
7-16-09, Dan Farrand, Danbury News-Times Staff Writer
http://www.newstimes.com/danbury/ci_12853201

Ken Green’s 51st birthday isn’t for another six days, but the former PGA Tour golfer received an early present.

Two specialists told the Danbury native Wednesday he would not need surgery on his left leg, near his ankle, to repair ligament and tendon damage he suffered in a June 8 recreational vehicle accident near Hickory, Miss., which required amputation of part of his right leg.

That same crash, which occurred as Green was traveling home from a Champions Tour event in Texas, took the life of his brother, William; his girlfriend, Jeannie Hodgin; and his German shepherd, Nip.

An MRI scan on Monday revealed injuries to Green’s left leg that made it seem surgery was necessary. Fortunately, it won’t be.

“It was very good news,” Green’s long-time friend Michael Goodman said Thursday. “He finally caught a small break.”

His left leg will need to be in a brace for three weeks, the 50-year-old Green revealed on his new blog Thursday.

He wrote that he is still suffering a lot of pain and joked that he could star as the ax victim in a horror film, due to large scars on his face and a handful of missing and chipped teeth.

Green, who is mostly bedridden for now, said in the same post that he was having a tough day emotionally Thursday as his thoughts constantly flashed to his brother, girlfriend and dog.

It was the second post Green made on his new Web site, http://www.KenGreensComeback.com , which launched this week, will act as a portal for Green — who is living in Florida with his sister, Shelley, and brother-in-law, Slugger White, a PGA Tour official — to communicate with the thousands who have reached out to him.

Green, who was on the 1989 Ryder Cup Team and top four on the PGA Tour money list in 1988, is also considering opening an account on Twitter.

The Web site will also be a fundraising tool for Goodman, who along with Gary Michael and Greg Begler, has spearheaded the creation of the Ken Green Living Expense Trust.

The trio have already organized a Sept. 28 tournament to raise money for Green at Danbury’s Ridgewood County Club.

According to Goodman, that tournament, which was requesting $5,000 per foursome, has already sold out, causing him to schedule a second event Nov. 23 at Breakers West County Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.

On the Web site, visitors can buy commemorative Ken Green hats for $30, bid in an online auction, make donations, and leave messages for Goodman and Green.

The auction will include golf packages at exclusive courses such as Winged Foot, Quaker Ridge, Baltusrol and Salem Country Club, along with courses in the U.K., such as Tinsdale — the site of the 2009 British Open — and Wilsey.

A guest package to attend the 2010 Tiger Jam in Las Vegas will also be up for the highest bidder.

Every penny raised will be used to pay Green’s medical bills and living expenses.

“It’s amazing the amount of support that has just poured out for Ken,” Goodman said. “I think he got a bad rap because he wasn’t afraid to say what he thought. But he was always there if you needed him and I think people saw that, so now they are trying to be there for him.”

Two of Green’s best friends during his 20-year PGA Tour career, Mark Calcavecchia and Curtis Strange, have already committed to the Ridgewood fundraiser and to recruiting other PGA names.

Green’s manager, Kevin Richardson, said Monday he will attend the Ridgewood tournament with his client, who is determined to make the trip.

“He’s going strong,” Goodman said. “He’s been motivated by all the support. It’s meant a lot to him.”

Contact Dan Farrand at dfarrand@newstimes.com or at (203) 731-3379.

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