Hoffmann reveals he has muscular dystrophy

By Nick MentaDecember 4, 2017, 4:32 pm

Morgan Hoffmann on Monday announced that he has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.

In a blog post on The Players' Tribune, Hoffmann details his struggle to obtain a diagnosis, which he finally received in November of last year.

Muscluar dystrophy is an incurable disease that results in the progressive loss of muscle mass. Per the Mayo Clinic, "some people who have muscular dystrophy will eventually lose the ability to walk. Some may have trouble breathing or swallowing."

Hoffmann, 28, writes that he first started noticing the deterioration of his right pectoral muscle in 2011.

"That was the beginning of a five-year period of misdiagnoses, frustration and confusion," he writes. "I visited over 25 doctors. While they were 'racking their brains,' my weakness progressed, my swing speed decreased and I continued to lose muscle in my chest. Today my entire right pec is almost gone."

Throughout the piece - entitled "So Damn Lucky" - Hoffmann reminisces about his childhood and his life in golf before setting new goals for what he hopes to achieve in his professional and personal lives.

"But I believe now that this is why I was put on this earth — so that when a child is diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, there will be a cure; there will be people to help with mental, nutritional and physical training guidance. And especially so that no disease will ever hinder a little boy’s or girl’s passion for life," he writes.

As for his long-term health, Hoffmann admits he isn't sure what to expect.

"Even though the type of muscular dystrophy that I have doesn’t pose an immediate threat to my life, there is a good chance that it will shorten it," writes. "I don’t know when that will happen, because there’s no way to gauge the speed at which the disease will spread."

A sign of his determination and his continued positivity, Hoffmann recorded his best finish in a PGA Tour event in February of this year, tying for second at the Honda Classic.

So far he has made four starts in the 2017-18 season, with two missed cuts and two ties for 23rd. Early in the piece, he refers to the last few months as "the most trying" of his life, stating that he has a "a new reality now, and a new purpose."

That purpose is to raise money and awareness to combat his disease. An early step in that process, he writes, will be a soon-to-be-announced charity golf event at his home course, the Arcola Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey.

He also remains undeterred in his quest to finally breakthrough into the winner's circle.

"This disease won’t keep me from achieving my dream of winning on the PGA Tour — and it shouldn’t keep anyone else from chasing their dreams either," he writes.

To read the full piece, click here.

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PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

LPGA:

We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.