Teaming with Mike Reid, Ken Green finished 26th out of 33 in the past weekend’s Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. But the final score wasn’t really relevant—it was the effort: The event capped a year in which Green was in an RV crash that killed his brother and girlfriend, and in which he lost his leg. In January, his son was found dead in his SMU dormitory.
And it said that it’s possible—just possible—that Green could make a comeback. Green now is weighing options. He might play in next week’s Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, and in the upcoming Dick’s Sporting Goods Classic in Endicott, NY.
Sadly, the Champions Tour denied Green a medical exemption for this year, arguing that the provision is only for players in the top thirty. But if losing a leg doesn’t get you a major medical exemption, I don’t know what does. He should have gotten the exemption. It’s not like there are a slew of guys trying to make a comeback after amputation.
From Green’s post round press conference:
Q. Sounds like there’s much more at stake than playing good golf, though.
KEN GREEN: Well, for me, maybe it is, and maybe I’m putting too much on it, but you know, I love golf, and you know, I’ve done some stupid things in golf and we all—well, Mike doesn’t. I don’t think he’s ever done anything stupid.
It’s just a thought that I could, you know, kind of give something back that’s obviously unusual. It’s never happened before, and you know, within that circle or that avenue I’ll have that possibility that I can do it. And you know, if it gives others hope and gives them a smile or encouragement, inspiration or whatever words you so desire, it’s what’s going to keep me going because otherwise, you know, right now I don’t—you know, I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have golf and try to focus in on golf.
It just—that’s—you know, I don’t know if that’s smart, but you know, because if you have—at the end of the road—I don’t mind losing the battle at the end of the road if I’ve given it the good fight because that’ll be as much of a win as being able to beat Mike one day heads up, so to speak.
More from Ken:
“I haven’t been known for inspiring people throughout my career. But I’ve got a chance to do something good for people, something important in golf, and for people who are disabled, and people who have had accidents.”
You also have to offer kudos to Mike Reid. He decided that Ken was more important than a paycheck.
And you know, for Mike to give this week for me was something I’ll never ever forget. You know, he’s playing so well, and you know, if he had, you know, another player that wasn’t, quote, in the midst of trying to regroup, you know, that’s just something that’s wonderful.
So playing again is so exciting, and now I’ve just gotta hopefully be able to work on these changes and come back and hope that next time I come back that Mike will only have to give me 3 and 3 instead of 7 and 7.
DAVE SENKO: Mike.
MIKE REID: It was an honor to be partnered with Ken this week, and he made a lot of progress this week I thought. I was very impressed with how efficiently he could get the club on the ball.
But I think I underestimated maybe how much he loves the game because for him to be here and from my perspective seeing not only the awkwardness, but the pain he had to deal with this week, it’s just a measure of how much he loves the game. And I think he inspired all of us, but I had the best seat in the house, and you know, he was not a load, believe me. I mean he was hitting a lot of good shots, great short game. I was really impressed. Have you been working on that shot?
There’s an inspiring story at the New York Times.