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June 13 2010

7:22 PM

Micheel playing for more than himself

If there’s one guy who’s probably not bothered by the heat here at the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew, it’s Shaun Micheel. Not only does he live here in Memphis, he has other things on his mind.

Micheel, who is currently 1 under through nine holes today and four shots off the lead, is dealing with his mom having cancer. Donna Micheel, 63, has been battling it since it was discovered in a chest X-ray last April, but it has spread from her lung to her brain and the folks from hospice came earlier in the week.

"I'm hoping, but there's not a whole lot of hope," Micheel told the Commercial-Appeal earlier this week. "You know, I'm scared for her."

The doctors told her she'd live for 9-12 months, but she’s past that now and even went to Maui in February. However, on Mother’s Day, she was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

"I thought we were losing her then," Micheel told the newspaper. "She was having something called neutropenia, where the white blood cell count is just so low. But after a couple days, they got her blood count up a little bit and she told me to go play."

That’s exactly what Micheel, whose only status on the PGA TOUR this year is as a past champion, has done. He has just one top-10 this season -- a fifth-place finish in Houston -- but he is on pace for another one here. Not only would that get him into the Travelers Championship in two weeks, it would mean everything to his mom.

"Maybe the last few years I've just been too consumed with me, me, me," Micheel continued. "Now I'm finally playing for somebody else, and it's helping me.” -- Brian Wacker

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