Gary Woodland ordeal: "I was scared to die"

"I lived four and a half nightmare months with the fear, every day, of being close to death"

by Andrea Gussoni
Gary Woodland ordeal: "I was scared to die"
© Getty Images Sport - Kevin C. Cox / Staff

"I lived four and a half nightmare months with the fear, every day, of being close to death." Gary Woodland, Major champion, talks about his ordeal on the eve of the Sony Open, a PGA Tour tournament scheduled from tomorrow to January 14 in Honolulu, Hawaii, which will mark his return to competition after a nightmare period, 'marked' by a benign brain tumor which also cost him 30 metal clips.

Gary Woodland, statements

First the anguish, including loss of appetite, sleep and energy. Then, tremor in the hands, anxiety, chills. Then, an MRI that ruled out Parkinson's disease and highlighted other problems. So, a biopsy, an appointment with a neurologist and the result.

“The lesion was in the part of the brain that controls fear and anxiety,” Woodland revealed. “The drugs I was forced to take worked for the seizures, but they caused some horrible side effects, including short-term memory loss”.

Now, the end of the nightmare and the return to the green. "I want to show my children that even such difficult periods can be overcome in life and that not everything is rosy," explained the 39-year-old American from Topeka (Kansas), winner of the US Open in 2019.

Gary Woodland is an American professional golfer who has achieved significant success in the world of golf. He was born on May 21, 1984, in Topeka, Kansas, to his parents Dan and Linda Woodland. His early life included attending Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, Kansas.

After completing high school, he initially pursued a basketball scholarship at Washburn University in Topeka but later transferred to the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where he earned a golf scholarship. During his time at the University of Kansas, he studied sociology.

Woodland's golf career began to flourish during his college years, where he won four tournaments. After his successful college golf career, he made the decision to turn professional in 2007. He initially competed on the Nationwide Tour, which is now known as the Korn Ferry Tour, before making his way to the PGA Tour.

One of the highlights of Gary Woodland's professional golf career was his victory at the U.S. Open in 2019. This win marked his first major championship and was his sixth professional victory overall.