The Fighter: Letters to Jarrod

By Rex HoggardFebruary 21, 2014, 8:29 pm

Date: 9/11/2013

Hey Jarrod,
I have followed your golfing career both from the good times and the not so good times, as a boy born and breed in Finley along with reading the shepp news and various golf magazines it has been a joy to watch your golfing career go from strength to strength. As a father of 2 little ones you are a true inspiration to fathers the world over. Good luck with your comeback next week in Melbourne you will have no issue making the cut and finishing the event on top.

You are already a winner in a lot of ways.

Cheers Tony

 

Date: 08/02/2008

You are an inspiration. We just lost our 14 year old daughter to AML after a 13 month battle. She read your story in the Brisbane paper and was inspired to fight from it. She cut it out and had it on the wall.

Good Luck with the Golf.

 

Date: 9/03/2012

Sorry to hear of your illness. You have fought this battle before. Stay tough and go forward in the knowledge that many of your friends are with you every step of the way. You can beat this just like you did many years ago. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you 24/7. Trust the new addition to the family will be the ultimate medication. Best Regards

 

Date: 9/03/2012

Jarrod,
You can beat this. You have beaten it once and you will beat it again. You and your family will be in my prayers. Best of luck to you and your wife and congratulations on becoming a father! My wife and I are expecting our first in August, so I know how excited you are. Stay strong, stay positive, don't get down....this will just be another speed bump in what promises to be an amazing life for you.

 

Date: 10/03/2012

Hi Jarrod, I just heard the news about your relapse. I'm a first time cancer survivor (only heard the news a week ago), so I have a little bit of an idea what you're going through, but I imagine the second time would be even harder. Good luck with everything, and I really hope it all works out in the end. I hope you stay strong and positive throughout, no matter how hard it might seem.

 

Date: 10/03/2012

Hey Jarrod,
Wanted to drop you a line mate to let you know that Felicity and I are thinking about you and Briony. Wishing her the most amazing birth and sending you the most positive thoughts and encouragement in the road ahead. Can’t imagine how you feel with chemo coming up but do know how it feels when you see your baby for the first time. Hang in there mate. Enjoy every moment. It’s amazing.

 

Date: 12/03/2012

First, I want to congratulate you and your wife on the birth of Lusi Joy. How exciting to have a baby come into your life!

Second, Jarrod, I want to wish you all the best in your fight against leukemia. No one should have to deal with this once, for you to go through this a 2nd time is ridiculous.

I know this is a tough fight, so every time you're down I want you to think of that ace you made in Phoenix, and that amazing reaction from the crowd. I hope to see you back on the tour soon.

 

Date: 12/03/2012

Hi Jarrod,
Firstly, congratulations to both yourself and Briony on the wonderful birth of your beautiful little angel, Lusi. A new and amazing experience for you both. Secondly Jarrod are our hearts and thoughts are with you as you go through this next challenge in your life. We know you'll come through this with courage and strength again. It's just not fair that you should have to.

Love to you, Briony, Lusi and all the family.

 

Date: 12/03/2012

Jarrod,
Congratulations on the safe arrival of Lusi, and best wishes for the coming months.

Our A-Grade pennants team dedicated its win yesterday to you. You have always held a giggle in our hearts since your trot up the 18th at NSW to mark your ball in the Australian Open... :-)

Be strong, mate- be there for Briony and Lusi, no matter how long it takes. When they are looked after, we'll be lining up to have a quick 18 with you.

All the best!

 

Date: 13/03/2012

Jarrod, I was involved with you and your wonderful family as one of your social workers at RCH in '99 when you were first diagnosed with AML. I well remember your great courage last time and know that with the strength of your family, particularly now your wife and baby girl (how exciting!), that you will manage the high demands of your treatment ahead of you. I wish you and your family the very best of success for the coming months that are likely to be very difficult.

 

Date: 13/03/2012

Hi, Jarrod. I just wanted to wish you the best of luck with your chemotherapy. I also had AML diagnosed in 2009, recurrent in 2010. They were able to get me into a second remission and now I've had a stem cell transplant from a matched unrelated donor (in Jan 2011) and am doing fine!

I know it's a long haul, but I made it and I'm 50! As I'm sure you remember from last time, once you are through everything, it quickly becomes a bad memory and you can get back to enjoying life.

 

Date: 24/03/2012

Hi Jarrod,
I was diagnosed a month after you and I remember seeing you at the Royal Children's Hospital. I have followed your career, What an inspiration you are! Mildura had the relay for life today. I walked in the Survivors Walk for you mate! Good luck and best wishes on fighting that cancer.

 

Date: 25/04/2012

Jarrod,
I was diagnosed with AML in 2008 while I was in the hospital I watched a video that had you and your story in it. I love the game of golf, your story helped me get through a tough time and gave me hope that I to could once again be out there playing. My thoughts and prayers will be with you during this tough time you and your family are going through. I wish you all the best. Keep fighting the fight and stay strong.

 

Date: 25/05/2012

You’re a legend big fella! People like you are why I'm proud to call myself Australian. This is one cut you will NOT miss mate. I love the game of golf and all it stands for, patience, dedication, self-belief. All the great qualities I know you possess.

My thoughts and best wishes to you and your family,

 

Date: 16/07/2012

Dear Jarrod,
I'm a 16 year old boy from Melbourne who plays at 13th beach and it deeply saddens me to hear of your current battle. To put it lightly you are my idol. Haha. It would be a great honour to meet you one day because you just seem like a great bloke that simply loves his family and his golf, maybe even play with you one day. You are my absolute motivation to not only make it as a PGA pro and get on tour but also to get as far as possible and live life to the fullest. I’m sure you hear this all before but I know you will get better and best of luck for the future. P.S if you can make a 1 on 16 at the waste management you can beat this! Catch you later mate, all the best for the future and it would be great to meet one day.

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Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.