Thursday, May 28, 2009

Joey D checks in from The Colonial...

The Texas swing has been absolutely unbelievable. Back-to-back weeks with solid weather, courses in great shape and a completely laid back vibe, which the players are definitely feeding off of. Very hospitable folk here in the Lone Star State, great sports fans and it's made for a great couple of weeks.

Phil Mickelson is your defending champ and is obviously home in San Diego right now, spending time with his wife Amy and their kids. As the whole sports world has heard, Amy is battling breast cancer and it seems the entire state of Texas is getting behind the cause. You can't go anywhere without seeing pink. Pink ribbons, shirts, hats. Billboards everywhere, supporting the Mickelson family. It's an awesome sight.

Mentally the players are enjoying the laid back vibe as the next major is around the corner. These next few weeks are your last shot to tighten up your game and prepare for the US Open up at Bethpage. It's a very challenging course and our guys are very focused right now. You're seeing more action in the fitness trailers and somewhat of a mid-season re-commitment to their overall game. This is a good time to take inventory, figuring out where you're at and where you want to be at season's end.

A semi-big field for me this week. Only guys not out here are Jason Gore and Pat Perez, Double P still laid up with ankle issues and JG playing a Nationwide event this week. Charlie Wi, Ryuji Imada, Tom Pernice Jr. and Jason Dufner are all in the field and all under par after day one. Mr. Positive Mental Attitude Charlie leads our pack at three-under, four strokes off the lead. Keep an eye on the guys this week and check back over the weekend as I'll break things down again.

Coming back to something I mentioned earlier, I really want to send some positive vibes to the Mickelson family. If anyone can sympathize with them and understands their struggle, it's me. For those who didn't know, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer just before my 18th birthday. It spread into my lymph nodes, underneath my groin, into my lungs and abdomen. Safe to say I had a strong, serious bout with that disease and the doctors thought it was going to take me down.

I know first hand what cancer can take out of you. I know what it does to your family and friends. My cancer was deemed terminal and I battled like hell to beat it. I know what Amy is going through, what she will go through - physically and emotionally - and I truly wish her all the best. You never think this disease can happen to you, but it can happen to anybody. I've read that upwards of 150,000 women are diagnosed every year and about 1/3 of them don't make it. In Amy's case it sounds like they caught it early, which is huge.

You also can't say enough about Phil, absolutely putting his career on hold to be there for his wife. Phil is an amazing family man and it's not a surprise he's stepped us as he has. Again, speaking from experience I'll be the first to tell you that the support of family and friends is everything. I was very young when I battled cancer and it was a very confusing time for me. I needed my support group and that was a real difference-maker. Cancer doesn't discriminate. It attacks everyone - babies, teenagers, moms. It's a devastating disease and I'm pulling for Amy as she heads into this battle.

Joey D.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Godspeed to the Mickelsons and amazing story, Joey. I had no idea all you had overcome. What an incredible testimonial.

10:04 PM  

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