Bigger perspective


TULSA, Okla. – First round of match play continues today at the U.S Amateur Championship. Southern Hills is stifling hot, what else would you expect in Tulsa in late August?

Clemson senior Ben Martin just began his first-round showdown against Florida senior Tyson Alexander. This week is as tough as it gets for these amateurs, but if you are looking for someone to root for, how about Ben?

Martin battles pericarditis, a heart virus which attacks the muscle lining the heart. Clemson men’s coach Larry Penley told me during Ben’s freshman year, the first attack hit while on the driving range. Penley continued to say Ben fell to his knees, thinking he was having a heart attack. It was diagnosed shortly after the visit to the hospital exactly what Martin was facing.

The episodes still happen from time to time, as Martin will have this condition the rest of his life. Penley had nothing but praise when speaking about Ben, and said when healthy, he is extremely talented. It’s always fun to root for someone who has a bigger perspective on golf and life.