Green Improved But Still Recovering

By Golf Channel NewsroomJune 29, 2004, 4:00 pm
Commerce Bank Long Island ClassicThe name says Commerce Bank Long Island Classic, but its Hubert Greens tournament. Jim Thorpe is the defending champion, but Green won two years ago. And when youre a cancer survivor ' such as Green is ' any tournament, any excuse to celebrate a victory is a big plus.
 
Green tees off Friday (TGC Fri. - Sun. 1:30 & 9:00 p.m. ET) and it will be the eighth time he has played since he returned to the Champions Tour following chemotherapy. The treatment for the throat cancer sent his weight spiraling down to 140 from his usual 185, and he has not fully recovered yet. But he has seen a definite improvement.
 
Green is averaging only 238 yards a drive and has taken an average of 75 strokes a round. But at the Bank of America Championship last week he shot 73-71-74, which was certainly respectable.
 
'It takes you five years to be cancer-free,' he told the Louisville Courier Journal recently.. 'Right now I'm cancer-free ... but not out of the woods. I just have to do what the doctors tell me and hope that I get well as soon as I can.'
 
'I'm a patient now,'' Green said. 'When I'm told what I need to do, I try to do it.''
 
Green is just thrilled to once again be playing golf. He isnt worried right now about competing for championships. He finds great comfort is just playing.
 
It's a new challenge for me,' he said. 'I can't compete here. I just want to do what I can. I have the best doctors in the world and am doing what they tell me to do. The doctor wanted me to come out and get back into a normal life routine.
 
'I just can't compete the way I used to,' he said. ' I can complete the rounds, no problem. But I can't compete.
 
Gil Morgan continues to lead the money race by more than $70,000 over second-place Hale Irwin, $1,083,781 - $1,008,789. But Craig Stadler, who has played in only 11 tournaments to Morgans 14, leads the tour in average money per event played with $90,210. Irwin, who has played 12 times, averages $84,965, while Morgan is averaging $77,413.
 
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