Pain causes KG to WD from Sunbelt Tourn.
“Pain forces Ken Green to Withdraw from Sunbelt Tournament”
3-4-10, by Chris Elsberry, CTPost
Ken Green of Danbury fought all the way to the end, through brutal winds and cold temperatures. This was not a golf day by any stretch of the imagination. It was the kind of day that if you didn’t have to play golf, you wouldn’t.
But Green did. This is part of the comeback, part of the plan. Success doesn’t come without suffering, and Tuesday afternoon, Green suffered.
Playing in just his second professional event since losing the lower half of his right leg in a horrific RV crash last June that took the lives of his brother, Billy Green, his girlfriend, Jeannie Hodgin, and his dog, Nip, Green shot a respectable 8-over-par 80 in the first round of the Sunbelt Senior Tour event at the par-72, 6,670-yard Breakers Rees Jones course in West Palm Beach, Fla.
[March 2-4 2010, “Ken Green’s Comeback Trail”, Limited Field – Invitation Only,
Green fought through 40 mph winds and temperatures in the low 50s, but the round came with a price. The pain in his amputated leg was so bad afterward that Green withdrew from the tournament before Wednesday’s second round.
“It really stunk. I knew I wasn’t close to being ready, this weather was just impossible for me,” Green said Thursday by phone from his Florida home. “The cold … it fires (pain) off the leg and my ankle was bad. It was just bad luck. It wasn’t a disaster, I shot 80, I grinded it out and tried my best, but it was just brutal out there. You would never have played unless you had to.”
For a former 5-time PGA Tour winner and a member of the 1989 Ryder Cup team, shooting 80 is simply unacceptable, and Green admitted he was disappointed after that first round. But he also knows what he’s trying to do — become the first professional to return to the Champions Tour with a prosthetic leg.
“It’s hard for my brain because you know how I think, to feel like that,” Green said. “I’m trying to look at the positives, but it’s tricky because I literally couldn’t make a golf swing out there.”
But the disappointment of having to drop out isn’t stopping or slowing Green down, by any means. Next up on the schedule is a 36-hole, two-day, Pro-Am event in Fort Myers, Fla., on March 13-14, called the Coors Light Open. Green will play with his good friend and caddy, Craig Thomas.
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Green and Thomas played in a Treasure Coast Senior Tour event just before the Sunbelt tournament, shooting a 62 the first day but finishing out of the money in the two-day event.
“I played well the first day. I hit good shots but then the second day, I didn’t play well,” Green said. “Obviously, I’m pressing. I’m playing way earlier than I should be, so when you put all the facts together, you’ve got to say, `Hey, this is pretty good.’ I’ve come a long way. I’m actually starting to get a little distance back and starting to hit some more quality shots.
“I’ve got to keep playing because I know I have to. If you don’t keep fighting and keep playing, how are you going to improve? How are you going to get better? If you make a fool of yourself, you do, but you’ve got to keep fighting.”