Brad Adamonis is playing hurt.
He plans to tee it up at the Frys.Com Open Thursday with an injured left foot, but that’s not the injury his family worries about. It’s the ache in his heart he’ll be playing with at Grayhawk Golf Club this week, if the foot allows.
Adamonis, 36, buried his father last week. Dave Adamonis, 63, was Brad’s inspiration. Brad watched a priest give his father last rites in a Fort Lauderdale hospital almost four years ago, but his father got up off that bed and walked out of the hospital.
Dave amazed family and friends the way he touched so many lives while fighting five forms of cancer these last few years. He was given last rites three times and refused to die.
Finally, though, he succumbed at a hospice near the Cumberland, R.I., home where he made his name before moving to South Florida.
He created the popular U.S. Challenge Cup for junior golfers in New England before moving to Miami Beach to take over the Johnson & Wales golf management program. He built an NAIA powerhouse there. He battled prostate cancer, throat cancer and lymphoma in the first wave of sickness, then lung and liver cancer in the second wave.
“He hurt more than he ever let us know,” Brad said Monday night from Scottsdale, Ariz. “He insisted on working almost to the end, making sure he helped the school make the transition. I didn’t think it was a good idea, but it’s what he wanted to do.”
Adamonis was at the hospice on Oct. 10 when his father died.
“This summer’s been tough,” said Stacey Adamonis, Brad’s wife. “Brad was with his father virtually 24 hours a day, seven days a week, over the last few weeks.”
The funeral was in Cumberland, R.I., on Oct. 14.
“My father showed me what’s possible if you put your mind to something,” Brad said.
Adamonis has some professional challenges to overcome as this PGA Tour season winds to a close. He’s 162nd on the PGA Tour money list with just three events left to move among the top 125 and secure exempt status for next season. He’s playing with an inflammation of the bone and tendon in his left arch that’s bothered him for more than two months. He received a cortisone shot before leaving his Coral Springs, Fla., home and hopes the foot holds up at Grayhawk this week.
It isn’t easy playing in pain, but Adamonis has the memory of a father helping him endure whatever life brings.
For those interested in honoring the memory of Brad’s father, donations can be made to: The Dave Adamonis Memorial Fund, The Development Office, MGH, 175 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA, 02114.