Bohn returns to Honda one year after heart attack

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2017, 9:09 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Jason Bohn felt a little shudder stepping up to his golf bag on the driving range after arriving at PGA National Tuesday morning for the Honda Classic.

The last time he was on the Champions Course, he left with chest pain, with paramedics treating him for a heart attack.

He left in an ambulance after finishing the second round, with whirring sirens rushing him to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, where doctors found 99 percent blockage of his heart’s left anterior descending artery, a condition that’s called the “widow maker” because it can lead to sudden death.

That’s how the Honda Classic ended for him last year.

“So I’ve got to tell you, it was a little bit eerie getting to the driving range today,” Bohn told

Bohn, though, went on to detail how much a return to the Honda Classic means to him.

When this season’s PGA Tour schedule came out, he circled the Honda Classic.

“I couldn’t wait to get back here,” said Bohn, 43. “I couldn’t wait to play.”

That’s because Bohn says his heart attack changed him, and he’s grateful for the change.

“Having a heart attack was probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me,” Bohn said.

Surgeons inserted a stent in Bohn’s heart, to open the blocked artery. He has been healing nicely ever since. He says the heart attack has actually improved the quality of his life.

The Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

“I’ve really learned a lot about myself, about diet and about my body and how it processes food, and I’ve also come to appreciate things that maybe I didn’t appreciate a couple years ago,” Bohn said. “We play this game, and it can be extremely stressful at times. We ride this massive roller coaster, going up and down. I really believe a lot of what happened to me was based on stress.”

Bohn said his perspective changed after the heart attack. And everything he was learning was reinforced when his mother, Carol, had her own scare. She had triple bypass surgery three weeks after Jason’s heart attack.

“When I first got out on tour, I was so appreciative to be here,” Bohn said. “I was so excited. I stopped and smelled the roses along the way. I waved to people. But once you’re out here, you get lost as to where you are and how grateful you need to be.

“That’s why I say it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I pay more attention to details with my kids, my wife, to things I was kind of taking for granted. Maybe it was just God looking down at me and slapping me in the face and saying `Wake up buddy, you have a real special deal and you really need to enjoy it.’”

Bohn’s wife, Tewana, and the couple’s two boys, Conner, 11, and Cameron, 8, are back home in suburban Atlanta because of school, but the family understands how the Honda Classic changed their lives.

Bohn’s trying not to make his return too heavy.

“We’ve had a joke going,” Bohn said. “I’ve been telling my wife that my goal this week is to stay out of the hospital.”

But Bohn plans to return to the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center on Wednesday, this time just to visit.

“I want to go back to thank the doctors and nurses again for turning my life around,” Bohn said.

Bohn has made six cuts in nine starts this season, with his best finish a T-35 at Mayakoba. Yes, golf is still important to him, but he says he has learned to better manage the rollercoaster life.

“Out here, your score can feel like it’s everything, and it’s really not,” Bohn said. “It’s a cliché, that it’s about playing one shot at a time, one hole at a time, that it’s about staying in the moment, but the reality is now I realize what that really means, what the moment is, when you are right there. I’m trying not to take anything for granted.”

Getty Images

What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

Getty Images

Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

Getty Images

Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

Getty Images

Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.