Gary Woodland on the traumatic battle with the tumor: Details

"So, you can imagine - leading up to surgery - what I felt like about the thought of having my head cut open."

by Sead Dedovic
Gary Woodland on the traumatic battle with the tumor: Details
© Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images Sport

In an interview with the media, Gary Woodland decided to talk about brain surgery and the challenges he faced at that time. Learning about such a diagnosis is a big shock for everyone, including Woodland. The first emotion you feel is fear. Also, not knowing what would happen and how the surgery might turn out was another thing that worried Woodland. He was scared about the effects of a brain tumor and thought about it every day.  Even though the doctors tried to cheer him up, Woodland still felt scared and wasn't very hopeful about what was coming next for him.

"[Before surgery] The doctors kept telling me I was OK, but this thing which was pushing on the part of my brain which controls fear and anxiety... it didn't matter if I was driving a car or on an airplane - I'd be thinking the bin is going to fall on me - I just thought everything was going to kill me.

So, you can imagine - leading up to surgery - what I felt like about the thought of having my head cut open and my brain operated on. The fear going into that was awful."- he said, as quoted by

After the surgery to remove his brain tumor, Garry Woodland explained how he felt when he woke up. He said that he felt really thankful and full of love instead of being scared. He had been worried about his health every day for about four and a half months.  

He also mentioned how tough it was for his family. They supported him and tried to keep him positive throughout the whole thing, which was hard.  Family is the biggest support for many, including Woodland. Their support was crucial from the moment of diagnosis, surgery, and the period after that. Then when you have the support of those closest to you, nothing is impossible.

Gary Woodland
Gary Woodland© Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images Sport

After the surgery, Garry felt relieved. He was happy that he could still see and move his left side because those were the big worries before the surgery. He spent a couple of days in the hospital and then was able to leave feeling very grateful for being okay.  The uncertainty he felt disappeared, and he could finally feel relief. These are moments that this great golfer will never forget.

Gary emphasized that already after the 2023 Masters, he felt changes in his everyday life. He would often wake up at night, shivering, and in addition, he also felt tremendous fear. This fear was not natural. Even though he hadn't been scared of dying before, during those moments, Woodland felt an overwhelming fear of death.  In those moments, he realized that something was wrong with him. Looking back, Woodland never had similar problems.

"That was the one that scared me the most, the fear. I'm a very optimistic person, I believe good things will happen, and I was very fear-driven every day. Mostly around death."

Gary Woodland: Surgery and removal was the next step

As Woodland's health worsened, he asked for anxiety medication, but the doctor needed an MRI to be sure. Tests found a brain issue affecting his fear and anxiety, causing seizures. The first medication didn't help much, but a higher dose did, even though it caused memory problems. The doctors were cautious about him and his health and thought about the options they had. The most logical option at that moment was surgery.

"The doctor didn't want to go in any more than he had to, so surgery and removal was the next step. They couldn't get it all out from where it is located. It was benign, which was a big deal, if it was cancerous then they would have removed it all. But it's against my optic track, so they removed as much as they could and they believe they cut off the blood circulation to what's left."

He's now undergoing regular MRI scans every three months to monitor it. His latest scan before coming to Hawaii showed that everything remained stable after the surgery. Being able to practice without worrying about its growth has lifted a weight off his shoulders. He's hopeful that it stays that way and continues not to grow.  Woodland is ready to turn over a new leaf in his life and focus on his future in the world of golf.

Woodland has always been an optimist, since the first day of his career, and he wants to continue like that in the future. His current focus is to return to the golf scene, give his best and live the life he once lived. Gary emerged as the winner, and he hopes that the future will bring good stories for him. Fighting such a disease is really difficult, but such moments strengthen you and teach you certain things in life.