KG plays The Senior PGA Championship, Valhalla GC, Louisville May26-28 2011
KG’s Blog #102 5-6-11: “My goal is to still play in the PGA Seniors in Louisville at the end of the month.”
May 26-29 2011
72nd Senior PGA Championship
Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville
72nd Senior PGA Championship TEE TIMES:
Morris HATALSKY, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Thomas HERZAN, Findlay, OH
Ken GREEN, West Palm Beach, FL
Thursday May26: 2:20pm (#1) => 36-33=80
Friday May27: 9:10am (#10) => 42-40=82 T146
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KG’s Blog Post #108 – 5/30/11 7:45pm (Glad I did Valhalla; Looking Ahead)
Well it’s been a few days now since I finished the battle of Valhalla. As of about 5:00 this afternoon, I seem to be back to my not really normal taser count. What I’m about to say is simply what has happened the past few days. I’ve never had so much and so high amount of electricity in my body. I think it’s really sad when you’re excited about being taser’d in small amounts. I’m still glad I did it and am glad that I didn’t interfere with my playing partners. I will be heading to the Carolina area to seek a neuro specialist on the head issues. Truthfully, my head has been nothing compared to the last 4 days. He has worked with an amputee who has had both of my issues, and I’m hoping he can figure out at least the head problems. He has had some success in the shock part, but only temporarily. Then it is my hope to head to Boston and get working on the new “holy grail” of feet. From there I don’t really know what I’m going to do – I’m a lost little soul at the moment and will just go where the body goes. Be good and for you northern souls, I hope your golf gives you peace. – Ken
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KG’s Blog Post #107 – 5/28/11 3:04pm (Valhalla: “disappointed, yet Proud”)
Holy Taser Batman,
It’s 3:00 Saturday and my leg is still on high alert, but at least I’m not on shot mode. I finished the morning 9 at even par and was really thinking I could keep it 75 or better. I hit a shot off a side hill lie out of the rough and the leg went ballistic and never shut down. I’m so disappointed, yet I’m proud of myself at the same time. I will tell you that out of the 30 holes I played, I had to hit a 3 or 5 wood into 14 of them. That makes it very hard to score. I’m starting to think that they should hold the Kentucky derby at this place and let them run like hell.
My hope is to go to Boston and start the ball rolling on the new leg that I’m praying will take pressure of the nerves in the stump that make me just cry like an idiot at times. I felt awful that I was losing it out there, but I’m telling you the electricity simply doesn’t allow me to function when it goes berserk. I do think that if the 693 inches (of rain) hadn’t fallen, I would have been able to play that course in very acceptable scores.
90% of me is telling me to get off this pipe dream and the other 10% says don’t stop. I’m going with the 10 probably. My nature not to do the smart thing. Just a quick note. I’m still in la la la land and am making no sense so I will shut it down.
Be good my friends,
KG’s Scorecards: http://www.pga.com/seniorpga/2011/scoring/scorecards/index.cfm?id=01444
**CT-Golfer Writer BRUCE BERLET wrapped up KG’s #107 (and Valhalla) perfectly when he posted this footnote on his blog at http://www.ctgolfer.com/blogs/bruce_berlet :
“Keep the faith, Ken. Your friends and supporters will agree with whatever you want to do. Who are we to question your desires with what you have endured and how much you have inspired others?” – Bruce
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =KG Opens RND1 with a “Stupid Good” 36 on the Front:
5-27-11/Friday: “Ken Green Finished Opening Round at Senior PGA”
by Jody Demling, Louisville Courier-Journal
Ken Green, playing his first major championship since losing the lower portion of his right leg in a 2009 accident, had it going for 9 holes. Green shot an even-par 36 on the front side in the opening round of the 72nd Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club. But then he made 6 bogeys and a double bogey on the back9 to finish his first round at 8-over 80.
“It is amazing how this game can get ya,” Green said. “I played like a stupid good front. The back is much harder – there are three holes I couldn’t even get home – but you start thinking maybe I can shoot 75 and you know maybe thinking about making he cut and then just boom, boom, boom. “What this game does for you sometime – it just snowballs.”
Green, who has been allowed to drive a cart by the PGA of America, needed a par on the par-5 18th hole to break 80. His third shot came up short and landed in a bunker. He chipped out and two-putted for bogey. In the round, Green hit 11 of 14 fairways but only 7 greens in regulation.
“I hit some good shots and it was fun,” Green said. “It’s amazing how you start getting excited, that’s what golf does. That’s part of the reason why I keep trying to play to have those kind of moments.” On his blog before the round, Green said he wasn’t sure how he could physically hold up having to play 30 holes in one day. “I will certainly go out there and try,” he said.
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GREAT VIDEO OF KG AT VALHALLA – DON’T MISS!!
5-27-11: “Ken Green Highlights from Round 2 of Valhalla/Seniors”
VIDEO (1:24): Ken Green’s amazing comeback continues. He pars the 13th, birdies the 14th (“One of the few birdies we’ve seen at 14 – he’s been such an inspiration for so many people.”), and sinks another long par save on the 15th.
Screenshot of Video:
5-26-11: “Interview: Ken Green’s Amazing Comeback (5:12 VIDEO!)”
“Just 2 weeks after competing in his first Senior PGA Championship in 2009, Ken Green was involved in a horrific accident that killed his girlfriend, his brother and his dog, and also took part of his lower right leg. He’ll continue his amazing comeback.”
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5-28-11: “Ken Green ‘Wins’ Again”
By Bruce Berlet, CT Golfer (“All Access”) => http://www.ctgolfer.com/blogs/bruce_berlet
Major kudos to Ken Green for the most inspiring day of many he has had for nearly 2 years. The Danbury native somehow got through 30 holes in the Senior PGA Championship on Friday at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. Green was forced to put in overtime because of heavy rain Thursday that delayed play for 41/2 hours and limited him to 6 holes after not teeing off until dinner time. So Green had to spend more than 8 hours playing golf Friday, though a hospital and morphine were also on his mind. . . Though Green said he desperately wants to have one good tournament so he feels as if he could walk away with his head held high, he’s already won. Somehow, golf always seems to make you feel warm inside. Like that 50-foot putt at Valhalla on Friday afternoon. Best bogey that Ken Green ever made. A victory for the moment — and a lifetime.
ENTIRE Article: http://www.ctgolfer.com/blogs/bruce_berlet
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KG’s Blog Post #106 – 5/26/11 10:11pm (Valhalla – got 6 Holes in)
Well, somehow we did play some golf today. My 2:20 time was actually a 7 o’clock start. The storms just never stopped coming in for a nasty wet landing.
My teacher Peter Kostis was sent a video of my swing last night and he gave me 2 options. 1) close the stance up and square the shoulders up which will get me a little more draw and height on the ball which I was doing neither. It’s pretty scary to make a change only in your mind, but I had nothing to lose considering how bad I was hitting the ball.
I started out with a pure drive and a great hybrid to about 30 feet, 196 yard shot. Sadly, I panicked a little on my 3-footer that I left short and talked myself out of ‘cause I was just so nervous and the excitement to be playing in this premier event of senior golf. Just missed a birdie from 20 feet for par. Then I hit a 5 wood right on this killer par3, but made of stupid good chip loft to 10-feet and made it. The next hole I hit a good drive (250 all in the carry, ouch so short) a perfect 9-iron to about 12 feet where I had no clue on the read and my caddy came closer than me, but it just missed. Old eyes don’t always work. The next hole I bombed a drive and hit a 5 wood into there about 20 feet, this was awesome. #6 is clearly the hardest hole, I pulled my drive onto a mogul and was left with hit it 20 yards and lay up short of the water or try and carry the water, 150. This was a gamble because the serious hill means anything can happen. I pulled off a hybrid which left me 79 yards. I hit a SW to 5 feet and made the putt. Round now over.
I must play 30 tomorrow and I simply don’t see me to be able to finish. I will fight till tears fall hard from me before I quit. These 6 holes have given me a boost as this is set up much harder than our normal events. Sleep, sex, food, and munch tussle will finish my night and get me ready.
Be good my friends,
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5-24-11: KG’s blog #105 to KENS-BLOG (Valhalla: “I’m Gonna Fight like Hell”)
Ouch! I’ve made mistake number 78,964. Valhalla is way too hard for me at this stage of life. The rain has turned this place into a bomber’s paradise. 7,250 with zero roll is for the Calc, Lehman, Lyle, and those style of players. This course is also much hillier than I was led to believe. All that said, I’m still going to go out there and fight like hell.
So, it doesn’t look like I’m a pile of negativity, I will say that the new foot that I was fortunate enough to try is a home run. It makes walking so much easier. The balance on hills is also incredible. I do think it will make this world that we amputees live a tad more enjoyable. The price tag is nasty hard, but eventually it will go down where the average person might be able to afford it. Sadly, insurance doesn’t cover this. Isn’t it forked up that insurance doesn’t cover something that is supposed to make you better? Obama care won’t, Green care doesn’t, Munch care would. We will find a way to afford this because it’s just that good.
Back to Valhalla, I may have as many as 6 fairway woods into the greens. There was a time I would have loved that, but right now the angles are just too much. I will try and keep you posted each day on the adventures of Sir Greensdoom. I’m going to the vans early tomorrow and find some magic driver and woods that will kick the ball up in the faster with no roll. The great advantage that pros have is the equipment vans that will allow you to make daily changes to fit the golf course.
Off to the world of filet mignon…
= = = = = = = = =Great Articles:
5-24-11: “Amputee Ken Green Is Back in the Swing of Pro Golf at Senior PGA Championship – ‘Inspirational’ Fits Him To A Tee”
. . . “I don’t want to make an absolute fool out of myself. I will absolutely give it everything I have. I don’t want to call it a blessing, but you know every time I go out on the golf course I am just happy to be on the golf course. It does mean everything to me.”. .
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4-2011/PGA.com: “The Comeback Kid” (72nd Senior PGA Championship)
Just 2 weeks after competing in his first Senior PGA Championship in 2009, Ken Green was involved in a horrific accident that killed his girlfriend, his brother and his dog, and also took part of his lower right leg. He’ll continue his amazing comeback at Valhalla Golf Club.
Ken Green of West Palm Beach, Fla., whose journey back to competitive golf following a tragic recreational vehicle accident in June 2009 earned him the Champions Tour Comeback Player of the Year honor, will join the field for the 72nd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, May 24-29, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
Green, 53, will be making his second appearance in a Senior PGA Championship, having competed in 2009, 15 days before he suffered the loss of his lower right leg in an accident near Meridian, Miss., that claimed the life of his girlfriend, brother and his pet dog. Green gained an exemption into the most historic and prestigious event in senior golf by having been a U.S. Ryder Cup Team member (1989).
“I’m really psyched about the opportunity to play in the Championship, because it’s a wonderful venue and a wonderful Championship,” said Green, whose 2010 comeback included teaming with past Senior PGA Champion Mike Reid for a share of 26th in the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. “I believe that my story may be good for someone who has suffered a similar fate. If I can serve as any encouragement to someone missing a limb or possibly a parent who may be able to bring a kid to the course, I feel my time will be well spent.”
The Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid makes its second-ever visit to Valhalla Golf Club, and first since 2004. Green, believed to be the first amputee to compete in a Senior PGA Championship, will be granted the use of a golf cart on the 7,297-yard Jack Nicklaus-design course.
“I have always been a fan of Jack’s courses,” said Green. “I believe that I have a better chance to get around the course by the fact that it is not overly hilly. If a course has many hills, I have a hard time. I know that the course will be set up tough, but that may make it easier for me, as strange as that may sound. I cannot spin the ball the way I used to and hit the shots close to the flag.”
Following Green’s rehabilitation, he was fitted for a prosthetic limb that he said is a part of an ongoing learning process to play competitive golf. “As far as prosthetics, we are really good, as there are always changes being made here and there. I real happy with what I am using,” Green said. “The problem is I have to learn what I can do and what is needed to accomplish the next step. My problem is dealing with the pain level. Every amputee has different issues, and it’s like pot luck. I’m dealing with the fact that the nerves refused to die away. You might say that I’m walking a cautious line.”
Green said that his preparations include working with his longtime swing coach, Peter Kostis, and to compete in possibly 2 events, which include the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, April 18-24, in Savannah, Ga.
“Peter is still my teacher and someone who can help me evaluate what I can do next,” said Green. “He will see where I’ve fallen and do what is best to implement a training plan for me. Once I get healthy, I believe I can give it an honest chance. The pain level is the area that I have to work on the most.”
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5-28-11: “Ken Green Just Putting Through the Pain at Senior PGA”
Rick Bozich, Louisville Courier-Journal
By the time Ken Green moved uneasily over his 50-foot putt on the 9th green, it had been more than 3 hours since he had wanted to jump into his cart and race away from Valhalla Golf Club. Forget the Senior PGA Championship. Just get back to his hotel room. Find somebody to help him manage the pain raging in his amputated right leg. Go to a hospital for morphine, if necessary.
Surprising? Not to anybody who read Green’s blog Friday morning. Green wrote that he simply didn’t believe he could navigate the final 12 holes of his unfinished 1st round as well as his entire 2nd round. Not on a soggy, rolling course while playing on his prosthesis after getting one hour of sleep — even if he was permitted to tour Valhalla in his cart, No. 153. “But once I got to a certain point, it was like, ‘You’re not stopping now. You have to go.’ ” Green said. “It’s that little fight within myself that I feel I’m still winning. A lot of it is personal. The other is to bring some awareness to amputees.”
Be aware of this: Green, 52, faced that long, long bogey putt after chunking a pair of ugly iron shots on the uphill, par-4 9th hole, his 30th hole of more than 8 hours of golf. Green said when he stood over the putt, he didn’t see a golf ball. He saw a white blur. He’d been crying. Morris Hatalsky, a member of Green’s threesome, said he had been concerned about Green’s ability to finish for several holes. “He was losing his breath and closing his eyes,” Hatalsky said. “You could just tell he was in tremendous pain. It was pretty inspiring just to watch him compete.” Facing a 50-foot throwaway putt, Green moved the ball 50 feet and one inch, working it from left to right, rolling it softly and snugly into the cup, for the 82nd and final stroke of his exhausting round. Consider it the most wonderful bogey putt of Ken Green’s career. “Isn’t that just kind of fitting?” Green asked. “You can barely see the ball and you hit fat two wedges, and then you make the 50-footer. It’s a different kind of joy. For me, this was good.”
“I wasn’t (going to quit). I just wasn’t going to do that. Which is kind of bizarre because I’ve certainly done that numerous times when I’ve had other injuries. But this one, it’s personal.”
It was personal because this was Green’s first major championship since he was injured after his recreational vehicle blew a tire and tumbled down an embankment near Meridian, Miss., on June 8, 2009, two weeks after Green played in his only other Senior PGA Championship. His brother, William, his girlfriend, Jean Hodgin, and his German Shepherd, Nip, were killed. Green’s lower right leg was amputated. Months of therapy followed.
Green is a player who was known for his fiery spirit, fussing at other players and winning 5 times on the PGA Tour. He used to stir galleries by dressing in nothing but green, including his shoes. On Friday he wore the khaki hat, a blue polo shirt, blue-and-white checked shorts and white shoes, including one on the end of his prosthesis. He called himself “Johnny Hack.”
Green knows he is never going to win another tournament. He likely won’t make many cuts. He also knows that he will not quit. “I desperately want to have one good tournament so I feel like I could walk away with my head held high,” Green said. It looked held pretty high after Ken Green made that 50-foot bogey putt and walked away from Valhalla on Friday.
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5-28-11: “Ken Green Misses Cut, But Vows To Keep Trying”
By Tom Yantz, Hartford Courant
Ken Green missed the cut (80-82-162) at the Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. He had to play 30 holes Friday because of Thursday’s round was halted by rain. He tied for 146th place. The Danbury native, who wears a lower right leg prosthesis, was better than Mark Hayes (165) and Anders Forsbrand (167). Here’s what Green had to say in the media room after his rounds:
“It was good. I hit good solid shots and it was fun. And then you start thinking, wow, you know, I knew the back side was way too hard for me, but I was thinking 3 over maybe and shoot a decent score and it was I mean, it’s amazing how the you start getting excited. That’s what golf does. That’s part of the reason I keep still trying to play is to have those kind of moments and those kind of feelings. And then on the reverse side it’s the complete total just, wow, I mean it hurts as much as it’s ever hurt to have something just fall apart. It’s cold.”
And on his future:
“Well, you know, I didn’t think I would make 36 holes when I started and I will certainly go out there and fight and try. And if it gets awful, it gets awful. But I’ll fight through it. And I had goals all day. That’s my life right now. And I’ll keep, you know, because there’s always that, you want to shoot a good score. And I want to try to get revenge on this back side here. But that’s what you have to come up with reasons to keep doing it, otherwise you don’t do it.”