What they said: D.A. PointsNovember 09, 2010
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Children's Miracle Network Classic transcript archive
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome TOUR veteran D.A. Points of suburban Orlando into the media center. D.A., I know this is a special week for you with your nephew Carson here, so maybe talk about that and then we'll get a few comments from Carson. I don't know that many people know the story, but Carson's got a rare form of cancer, so this is a special week, I know, for both of you.
D.A. POINTS: Yeah. Well, it's a special week for myself, in particular, not only because of Carson, but it's a home game. My wife and our daughter and I live in Kings Point, which is real close. And then Carson and my sister, his mom, and his dad, Pete, they all live in Stony Brook West. So we're super local.
And you know, I guess it was five years ago Carson was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and spent a lot of time in the Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital and battled a horrible disease, and so far is winning. He's been cancer free for a couple of years now, and he's doing well.
And he is the Florida representative for Children's Miracle Network. Is that right? Did I say that right? So he's doing good.
It was funny, I played the first hole yesterday on the back and walked off the green, and I kind of turned around and looked right there and there was a big picture of him right next to the Kids Zone. I was like, "oh, that's my nephew."
We're very glad to be here, and obviously that Children's Miracle Network is sponsoring a wonderful tournament, period, but the fact that it's in our hometown makes it extra special.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Carson, tell me how special it is for you to get to see your uncle this week.
CARSON CHORNEY: It's very exciting.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Is there a story about you going to get his first set of golf clubs at Edwin Watts?
D.A. POINTS: Well, it wasn't his first set. He had had some practice ones that he shared with his older sister, and I don't know, earlier this year, Carson took an interest in golf. They live on the 18th hole of Stony Brook West, and they would go out in their backyard and kind of late in the evening after play had kind of ceased, they would hit shots out of their backyard out of the golf course and chase them around, kind of like all of us, the way myself started and like a lot of guys out here started.
He had outgrown his set, so I took he and his two sisters to Edwin Watts, and I said, we're going to try to get you all outfitted.
I told the sales guy, hey, listen, I want to go into the hitting area where they can actually hit the clubs, not just walk up and look at them and go, yeah, okay. I said, this is kind of a cool thing that they're getting to do, and I want to get them something that they're excited about. And I go, can we do this? He goes, if you want to, fine.
And we go in there and Carson grabs a 7 iron, and the guy tapes it all up so he doesn't ding it up or anything. And Carson makes like a little chip. And I'm like, "Carson, buddy, you can hit it as hard as you want." So he hit the next one about 30 percent harder. I'm like, "come on, Carson. You can totally hit it harder than that." And then he hauled off and whacked two or three 7 irons in a row over 100 yards. They show that up on the screen how far it went, and it went up in the air. It was fun.
And his older sister, Cassidy, got in there and she ripped a few. The little one, Kennedy, she didn't get to hit any. She's got his hand me downs. But it was a nice time. Carson's got a good swing, and when he goes my mom and dad take him out to practice sometimes, and my mom said that he's probably the best one of them.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Carson, do you want to talk about your golf game a little bit, how much you get to play?
CARSON CHORNEY: Okay.
D.A. POINTS: When was the last time you hit a ball?
CARSON CHORNEY: Last month.
D.A. POINTS: Out back or did you go with Papa? Yeah, my mom's neat. My mom's about an 8 or 10 handicap. She plays at Kings Ridge. My mom and dad play at Kings Ridge, and they play frequently. My mom will break 80 a lot. It's a par 70, and she'll break 80 a lot.
Sometimes when she gives my sister and brother in law a break, the three kids will go over and hang out with them for a day or weekend and go out and play and practice and drive the golf cart around and all that stuff.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Let's open it up for questions. If you could, just wait for the microphone here.
Q. When your mom was talking about him being the best one in the family, is she talking about just the grandkids or is she throwing you under the bus??
D.A. POINTS: No. The grandkids. Actually, you know what, I was very fortunate. Because of my parents I started at a super, super young age; and Carson really hasn't I mean he's been exposed a little to it, but not as much as I was by his age.
But I've watched him hit balls, and I was excited to see how good his swing was and to see how much he understood.
And my mom was telling me kind of a cool story, and Carson might be embarrassed. But I thought it was kind of it was flattering to me. I had just finished fourth at the Greenbriar, and I guess Carson maybe watched a little bit of it on TV. And when he went over to play with my mom, they were on the putting green, and Carson was imitating my pre shot routine, my practice putting stroke, and stuff.
And my mom was like, "I didn't tell him to do that. Nobody told him to do that. He got out there and started doing it," which I thought was I mean it was flattering for me, but it's cool that he's so perspective and understands that, hey, if my Uncle D does it and does it pretty well, then maybe it's something I should do. I think that's a good sign of the smarts of a good learner.
Q. Can you kind of take us through what effect the cancer took on him and what treatment he had to have and where's it at now??
D.A. POINTS: Yeah. And my brother in law is actually here. He could probably clear up anything. I'm not right on it. But I mean you guys spent like 160 days in the hospital at Arnold Palmer. And you know, right when they first found it, they opened him up to see if they could just remove the tumor, and it was about the size of a grapefruit, I think I remember. And it was attached to some it was attached to some organs. And so they yeah, the aorta, so they couldn't go in and just cut it out for fear of damaging any of those things.
So they just took a little biopsy and sewed him back up. And he had a big gash across his belly for a long time, and I mean it's still there, but it's a lot better now. No, it's like disgusting (laughs).
But you know, it was that was the first scary start, and then we went through lots of chemo and radiation, and then they went to Shands to do the stem cell, stem cell replacement and bony marrow too? Yeah.
Then they also went to after that they went to New York City to Sloan Kettering to do it's called 3F8 treatment, and it's like they take these antibodies from mice and they inject them into him. And what they do is they attach to cancer cells and try to eat the cancer cells. And they try to form to his regular cells so if the cancer ever tries to come back, that it'll eat it and won't let it start up again.
And they were super painful. I remember my sister and brother in law told me that they almost like attach to your nerve endings, so they have to give him heavy, heavy, heavy doses of pain medication, because I mean I would imagine it being stuck like a million times all over your body with needles hitting nerve endings, so they had to give him all this stuff to try to help him.
He liked going to New York City, though, because he got to eat pizza and drink coffee. So it's fun when it's cold there to eat pizza and drink coffee. That was some of the most unbelievable treatments that he had to go through and that my sister the toll that it took on my sister and brother in law and his two sisters was I mean you can't even put it into words, not only the time and the money and the effort and the travel and being away and everything, but he's cancer free right now and he's in fourth grade. He's doing well, had good grades last report card.
The only thing that I know of that is not super major, but he has a little hearing loss in both ears. And he's minus a kidney, which is no fun, and a little piece of liver, I think, also, a little chunk of liver is gone, too. Yeah. Whatever they needed to get out to kind of make sure they got it all out. Anything else you want to add? That's pretty good from the random uncle? Did I answer it pretty well? Are there any other questions about that?
PHIL STAMBAUGH: You've had a pretty exciting year. You got to meet the President of the United States. Can you talk about that, what that was like going to The White House?
CARSON CHORNEY: It was fun. Yeah.
D.A. POINTS: They went to nice museums. They got to tour a lot of museums. That was all part of the Children's Miracle Network made that happen. My brother in law, my sister both work two jobs and have two other kids, and it wasn't something that they could just pick up and go, oh, yeah, we'll just go because they offered him an invitation. It wasn't like they could just pick up and go do.
It was a big stretch for them, but they also, because of Children's Miracle Network said, hey, we'll go ahead and take care of you guys and get you there and put you in a hotel and set it up. That was amazing, not only to have the opportunity, but also to have a way to get there and do it.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: D.A., you have mentioned that Carson is your hero in the media guides in the last three or four years, and you've had to make a special effort to do that. When you talk about heroes, you could have put anybody down. You put him down, a six year old boy.
D.A. POINTS: Yeah. It gives me chills thinking about it. I remember seeing him in the hospital, you know, weighing like, I mean 35, 40 pounds, and being, you know, being a five year old, six year old boy at the time. You know, I think part of the time with cancer people can give up, and he never did. Neither did his parents and his sisters and our family. And the fact that he never gave up, and we'd go in and he'd be playing video games, even just for a little bit, you know, trying to be a normal kid throughout the whole thing was really inspiring to me to see how well he's come out of it.
Before he got sick, he was a sweet boy, but was also very shy. And I know maybe right now he might seem shy to you guys, but he is a character. He's a ham.
I had a friend, Bob Friends, who you guys may or may not know, said the first kid is kind of a rocket scientist; the second kid is a game show host, and the third kid is a good combination of the two. And Carson sometimes to me I think is kind of the game show host. When we're around, he's got some great, witty, like just funny, funny comments. And I think what obviously he went through made him stronger. And to me that's part of being a hero.
Q. D.A., what's the feeling like in the locker room and the clubhouse this week and the course when so many guys are a little closer to that cut line? Are there nerves or
D.A. POINTS: You know, I haven't gotten a great feeling for that yet, but even the last couple weeks, and we know like my wife and I, we have friends out here that are near the bubble and are sitting outside the bubble and need a good week. And the great thing about playing on the PGA TOUR is that it only takes one good week. Not only could it keep your job for next year, but it could make your year. You could have one great week this week and win the golf tournament and now all of a sudden life is wonderful.
So I think there's always a lot of stress on the last tournament of the year, but the golf course both golf courses are maybe the best shape I've ever seen them. The fairways are still a little soft, but they're definitely getting a little better each day, and I think by late Thursday the mud should hopefully kind of disappear, and the scores are going to be good, but it's going to be the rough is at that kind of nasty length where every shot you hit out of it is a flier, and it'll be an exciting tournament, and the weather looks to be good for the week.
Q. Following up on what you've said about you only need one good week, it seems like, particularly during the Fall Series, that may have been illustrated more than any other. You got Arjun Atwal winning as a qualifier. You got Jonathan Byrd securing his card and Rocco coming from out of nowhere. Has this year kind of been more of that than other years??
D.A. POINTS: Yeah. Absolutely. And I can't per se say for past years because I don't really know the stats on it, but to see those guys all step up and play well you still have guys like Martin Laird, who's been playing amazing basically for the last two years, still contending. And you have other guys that are playing well, but even still, we always watch and see our friends that are like really trying to grind it out.
Like this week I'm playing with Will MacKenzie, and he's a good friend of mine. And he's been studying all year, but had a Top 10 in one of the earlier Fall Series events. I don't know if it was in Sea Island or the next week. But whatever, he had a Top 10 to kind of lean him more he's inside the Top 150, and one more good week this week could get him inside the top 125.
You got guys like Chris Stroud and Graham DeLaet, guys that have been kind of playing all year, but just need a final push and they're getting it at the end of the year.
So this week, someone that you may not be anticipating to play great might come out and really light it up.