Life and Death Ordeal and the Pride Factor

By Associated PressOctober 29, 2007, 4:00 pm
  PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The doctors gave Dicky Pride a 50-50 chance of surviving the surgery, even asking him if he had anything to say to his wife, just in case.
'If that doesn't change your perspective, nothing will,' Pride said.
That operation was five years ago.
He's better now, the gallstone pancreatitis that threatened his life is gone, meaning he can still grind it out on the PGA TOUR. And a final-round 64 at this week's Ginn sur Mer Classic gave him a fourth-place finish, the second-biggest check of his career. It also earned an automatic spot into the final round of Q-school with a shot at keeping his tour card in 2008.
Given the alternative, that's hardly a bad deal.
'It's just absolutely humongous for confidence,' Pride said. 'But I had a lot of confidence, because honestly, I'm hitting the ball as good as I've ever hit it.'
He'll enter the season-ending Children's Miracle Network Classic at the Disney courses near Orlando Thursday 159th on the money list, still with some work to do. The top 125 on the money list get full playing privileges automatically for next season; the top 150 get some privileges and a pass into the Q-school finals.
But the 64 on Sunday at Tesoro Club -- along with a $216,000 check -- gave him a huge boost.
'There is absolutely nothing, nothing, better than seeing putts go in,' Pride said. 'It doesn't matter if you're putting on charcoal. If you see putts going in, that's going to help. And to shoot low scores, that's what you have to do.'
Pride has played in 335 PGA TOUR events in his career; he's finished better than fourth only twice, which made his flawless final round at the Ginn even more memorable.
He eagled the par-5 second hole, sprinkled in three birdies and nine pars over the next 12 holes, then finished with four straight birdies -- making 95 feet of putts in the process -- to vault up the leaderboard.
The birdie barrage added about $100,000 to his paycheck for the week.
That alone is more than he earned in his first 13 starts this season combined.
'I've had a tough year,' said Pride, whose lone career win was at the St. Jude Classic 13 years ago. 'But I think I'm playing better golf and it showed this week.'
Pride's final round ended Sunday before darkness set in at Tesoro Club. He returned Monday morning, just in case, as leaders Daniel Chopra, Fredrik Jacobsen and Shigeki Maruyama finished play.
Chopra birdied the par-5 16th Monday morning to get to 19 under, which is where he finished, one shot ahead of Jacobsen and Maruyama and three ahead of Pride -- who headed home to Orlando in a good mood anyway.
There was a time when frustration over not winning would have gripped him, but now -- having survived a monthlong hospital stay and three months subsisting on a feeding tube -- very little gets him down.
'It's almost like a lifetime ago, but it still affects me,' Pride said. 'It's just one of those things. You learn to appreciate a lot of things, and you go from there.'
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro
  • Full Coverage - Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro
  • Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Getty Images

    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

    Getty Images

    Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

    The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

    The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

    Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

    A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

    Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.