By LG

What a tremendous year Gene Sauers is having. Some would say life starts after 50. In Sauers case, he’s prof it just might. Gene Sauers is a professional golfer who grew up in Savannah, Georgia.

He turn professional in 1984, and got his first win on the PGA Tour in 1986 wining Bank of Boston Classic. Some would say Sauers had the makings of another Jack Nicklaus. He certainly was a great ball striker, and he had the ability to hit the ball a long way when he wanted to.

Sauers didn’t get another win on tour for 3-years. He got his 3rd win a year later wining the Deposit Guarantee Classic in 1990. His 4th win on the PGA Tour came in 2002, winning the Air Canada Championship.

He was doing alright, not as well as he wanted to do, but alright. Sauers had a way of becoming his own worse enemy on the golf course at times. Some would say he could get in his own way, and that cost him, from winning more tournaments.

There was a time when Sauers actually stopped playing golf. He didn’t touch a club for almost 7 years, and  during that 7-year period, Sauers was involved in the fight of his life, to save his life.

Gene Sauers was stricken with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, after being sim-diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Sauers was given just a 25 percent chance of surviving this awful disease. He laid in the hospital with the skin being burned off his body from the inside out.

That’s when the love of the game of golf gave him something to focus on, other than beating this terrible disease. Gene would tell you that as he laid there, he would go over his golf swing in his head for hours.

Not only did Sauers have the courage to beat the disease, he also had the courage to get himself back into the game of professional golf, after not touching a club for 7 -years.

How probable is that? You might ask yourselves that question, but in the case of Gene Sauers it was very probable. He not only made it back to professional golf, but he won the 2016 Senior US Open, and has had a host of other close calls on the PGA Champions Tour.

Gene has finished inside the top 25 in the Charles Schwab Cup in three of his first four seasons. Since turning 50, Sauers has earned over $4.7 million on PGA TOUR Champions while accumulating 28 top-10 finishes, including six runner-up efforts.

No, if he would only learn how to win in a play-off!!!

It’s no wonder this guy is only the 3rd guy in history to win the PGA TOUR’s Courage Award. This award is voted on by the other players, and they all know what Sauers went through and how tough a road to travel back to the PGA Tour it was for Gene.

Not only does he win the award, he also receives 25,000.00 dollars that Sauers is donating to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, a non-profit international center for treatment and research and a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. Clinician scientists at the Infirmary conduct research that aims to improve diagnostic tests, treatment options, and prevention strategies for patients with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

Here’s what Gene Sauers had to say;

“It’s an honor to receive the 2017 Courage Award. Through perseverance and determination, I was able to overcome Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and return to competition, and I cannot thank my family, friends and fellow PGA TOUR players enough for their tireless support along the way,” said Sauers. “It is my hope that this Award sheds positive light on the tremendous work being done by doctors and researchers around the country to find a cure for this debilitating disease.”

He is one heck of a great guy and one hell of a golfer too. Best of luck in continued success goes out from all the staff here at USA Sports 360 to Gene Sauers!!!!!

 

Filed under: PGA Tour Golf

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