KG After Ft.Myers-COORS 73-77: “It’s out there. It’s close.”
Great article chronicles KG’s fine performance Mar13-14 at Ft. Meyers (73-77=150). Friend Craig “The Kid” Thomas shot 71-72=143…
“Amputee Green Encouraged After Play in Fort Myers Tourney”
3-14-10, by Seth Soffian, Ft. Myers News-Press
The shocks of pain that sometimes jolt through what remains of his right leg acted up in the final round, but Ken Green nevertheless came away from the Coors Light Open encouraged enough to continue his professional golf comeback bid.
The 5-time PGA Tour winner shot a 6-over-par 77 in today’s final round at Fort Myers Country Club to finish tied for 39th in the 47-player field at 8-over 150.
“It wasn’t a very fun day, but that happens,” said Green, 51, who had the lower portion of his right leg amputated last summer after a motor vehicle accident that also killed his brother, girlfriend and dog. “I’m happy. I finished. I did break 80, and I don’t think I finished last, so I’m happy. It’s a good start. Baby steps are baby steps. There’s a reason they came up with that saying. That’s what I have to do.”
Green said his play in the tournament was good enough to convince him to follow through with plans to team with Mike Reid in the Champions Tour’s Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in late April in Savannah, Ga. “I’ve hit enough quality shots that I’m definitely going to play with him,” said Green, happy with “just hitting some decent shots and feeling good. The putter is still with me. I haven’t lost that. The big guy was kind enough to leave that for me.”
Green shot an 80 in the first round of a Sunbelt Senior Tour event 2 weeks ago in West Palm Beach in his first individual tournament since losing his leg. He withdrew from the 54-hole event with his score ballooning late in a cold, windy 2nd round, conditions that exacerbate nerve pain in his leg. He said he won’t compete again until the Legends of Golf but will work on his game and try to get a little stronger. Green said he drives the ball about 250 yards but will be able to add about 15 yards of length when he gets stronger.
“It’s out there. It’s close,” he said. “It all depends on what my buddy (his leg) wants to do. If he can be calm for a month or so, I can make that jump. Right now I’m at level, maybe, A and hoping to get to, say, F. I’m on the board, so to speak.”
Green, who was applauded by the gallery as he finished his round today, remains touched by the strong support he’s received from players and fans. “Ken Green and inspiration were not exactly synonymous,” he said, noting his brash, once-divisive behavior on the PGA Tour. “It’s a wonderful feeling when the people that you don’t know come up and just say that you’re really giving them hope and joy. As men, we don’t like to (admit) that it hits us, but it does. It’s a great feeling when that many people care.”
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Rehabilitating Green Fires 73 in Coors Light Open
PGA Tour winner learning to play with prosthetic leg
3-14-10, by Seth Soffian, Ft. Myers News-Press
Attempting a comeback to golf after having the lower portion of his right leg amputated after a motor home accident last year that also killed his brother, girlfriend and dog, Green shot a 2-over-par 73 in Saturday’s first round of the Coors Light Open at Fort Myers Country Club.
Green, 51, had 3 birdies, 2 bogeys and a double bogey — on the par-4 17th hole — in one of his first tournaments after learning to play with a prosthetic leg.
“It’s kind of way over my potential at this point,” said the West Palm Beach resident, noting Saturday’s strong winds and Fort Myers Country Club’s small greens. “It was howling, which makes it virtually impossible to control your distance. You can’t, which makes it that much harder to hit those little things.”
Fort Myers resident Nolan Henke, 45, who played on the PGA Tour with Green in much of the 1990s, commended his peer’s attempt at a comeback. When Henke finished his round, he checked the scoreboard for only one result: Green’s. “He’s trying to make it work. Give him all the credit,” Henke said. “Two-over par out here, in this wind, that’s pretty good playing.”
BTW, in this separate article about Rnd1 of the Coors Open in Ft. Myers, I see that buddy Craig “The Kid” Thomas shot a 71 in Round 1…
Picture: Ken Green putts on the 16th green during the 1st round of the Coors Light Open at Fort Myers Country Club on Saturday (3-13-10). (John David Emmett/news-press.com)
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3-12-10: “Fort Myers Event Can Be Big Step for Ken Green”
- Tour Player’s Been Beset By Setbacks…
By Seth Soffian, Fort Myers News-Press
5-time PGA Tour winner Ken Green had the lower portion of his right leg amputated last summer after a motor home accident that killed his girlfriend, brother and dog. In January, his estranged son died tragically at the age of 21.
Amid those tragedies, he has turned to the same place he’s always turned: golf.
Brash, flamboyant and unflinchingly outspoken during his playing heights in the late 1980s, Green arrives at this week’s 48th annual Coors Light Open at Fort Myers Country Club hoping it will prove an early stop on his comeback from the gut-wrenching losses. [ see http://tinyurl.com/yehwop4 ]
“Honestly, I’m still leap years away from trying to play what I consider good golf, but you’ve got to start somewhere,” said Green, 51, who is learning to play with a prosthetic leg. “You’ve got to do it and suck it up and just keep fighting to find out what you’ve got to fix and keep doing it.”
A Connecticut native who’s lived on Florida’s east coast in recent years, Green saw his game obliterated in the 1990s by a bitter divorce, mounting debt, clinical depression, thoughts of suicide and paralyzing voices in his mind he called demons. He had been making headway in yet another attempt to revive his career when a tire blew on his motor home in June and sent it careening down an embankment and into an oak tree. Green was thrown through the windshield, battering his body and face.
Golf, which had sustained him dating to a childhood being raised by an alcoholic father, would have to be his salvation again. Once identified by his green shoes, green golf glove and oversized glasses, Green is recovering from a broken eye socket, missing tooth, jaw thrown out of line and deep gash through his scalp.
“I’m going to turn this around to try to play professional golf again,” said Green. In November, he told Golf Digest, “If I couldn’t play golf, I wouldn’t want to be on the planet.”
Craig Thomas, a friend and regular participant in the Coors Light Open, suggested Green play here because the 2-round event permits players to use carts and would not overly task Green, who has limited strength, stability and endurance in the leg.
Fort Myers Country Club, relatively short at 6,421 yards, also would benefit Green.
“Golf is a lot about hope and confidence,” said Green. “The more good shots you hit, the more confidence you gain. I’m no different than anybody else. I need to see some positive feedback.”
He has had some. Playing with friends in West Palm Beach in November, Green shot a round of 68 despite heavy winds. Last month, he and Thomas shot 62-73 in a 2-man scramble event near Daytona Beach and finished just out of the money.
But in his first solo competition last month in a 3-round event on the Sunbelt Senior Tour, Green struggled to a first-round 80 amid cold, wind and shocks of pain through his leg. With his score ballooning in the second round, he withdrew.
“The more and more I play, the more I’m recognizing how much harder this is going to be than I planned,” said Green, who has been forced to adjust everything, from his full swing to his short game. “But I still think I can do it.”
Amid one tragedy, Green recently was hit by another, the unexplained death in
January of his estranged son, Hunter, 21, a golfer at Southern Methodist University in Texas. A friend who called 911 said he believed Hunter Green had committed suicide. “I can’t tell you how difficult understanding this is,” Ken Green wrote immediately afterward on his Web site, http://www.kengreenscomeback.com .
One thing has changed for Green through the events of the past 9 months: Fans and peers, once a divided lot on Green’s prickly behavior, have rallied behind him. Several golf fundraisers have been held to help Green, and active PGA Tour players voted almost unanimously recently to donate half their earnings from Wednesday pro-ams this year to Green and fellow player Chris Smith, 40.
Smith’s wife was killed and his two children severely injured in a car wreck only a week after Green’s accident last summer. Estimates are each man will net $200,000.
“It’s pretty humbling,” said Green, who has been flooded with supportive e-mails and letters. “I read them and I read them over sometimes. There’s been a lot of stuff that’s happened. There’s been some pretty hard blows. They’re tough to take sometimes. Getting help in words, they’re good for you.”
“It’s good for the soul.”
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KG to play Mar13-14 in ‘Coors Light Open’, Fort Myers FL!
“5-time PGA Tour winner Ken Green to play in ‘Coors Light Open’ at Fort Myers Country Club, Mar13-14 2010”
Feb. 19 2010, By Seth Soffian, news-press.com
5-time PGA Tour winner Ken Green, who lost his lower right leg in a motor home accident in June that also killed his brother and long-time girlfriend, plans to make one of the first stops in his attempted comeback in the Coors Light Open, March 13-14, at Fort Myers Country Club ( see http://tinyurl.com/yehwop4 ).
Craig Thomas, a long-time friend and caddie for Green who has played in the Coors Light Open for a number of years, said he spoke with the 51-year-old at his West Palm Beach home this morning to be sure Green still wanted to play in the 36-hole event. “It’s a good golf course for him,” Thomas said today of 6,421-yard Fort Myers Country Club. “He’s kind of excited about that. He doesn’t hit it as far as he used to.”
Coors Light Open tournament director Rich Lamb said he would extend an invitation to Green, who is slowly adjusting to playing golf with a prosthetic leg. Players can use carts in the tournament.
Green & Thomas played together in a Treasure Coast Senior Tour 2-man team event last week in Jupiter and finished just out of the money. Thomas said it was Green’s first competitive event since last year’s accident. “He’s still having some pain issues,” Thomas said. “It’s quite a process right now.”