Gary Woodland planning full schedule in 2024
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Had surgery to remove brain lesion eight weeks ago
Written by Staff @PGATOUR
Gary Woodland, who had surgery to remove a brain lesion in September, says recovery is going so well he’s planning on playing a full schedule in 2024.
Woodland, sporting a buzz cut and a Kansas Jayhawks hoodie, was interviewed at a Kansas University men’s basketball game in Chicago just a day after he posted video of himself swinging a club.
“I’m very thankful,” said Woodland, winner of four PGA TOUR titles, including the 2019 U.S. Open. “It’s been a journey. It’s been a process. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and to realize how fortunate I am, too. I’ve had a lot of love and support sent my way, but also Jayhawk Nation has been amazing from the start.”
Woodland, 39, said he was traveling back to Kansas last summer when he felt something was wrong and called the KU Athletic Department to see if he could get an MRI. They got him in that night.
The procedure revealed the lesion, and he posted on Aug. 30 that he would undergo surgery.
“We jumped on this so quickly,” Woodland said, “and I think that’s one reason why I’m here eight weeks later, swinging a golf club, being able to come back to my first basketball game – my first time out of the house, really.”
The surgery was done in Miami so that Woodland could remain close to his wife and kids in South Florida. The follow-up, though, will be done with the doctors he knows at KU.
“This is going to be a long process and a long journey for me going forward,” he said. “A lot of MRIs and a lot of tracking what else I have going on, and I’m very fortunate that KU Med is going to be doing that for me.”
Woodland had two top-10 finishes and finished 94th in the FedExCup this season. He last played at the Wyndham Championship in August, finishing in a tie for 27th.
Gary Woodland sinks a 23-foot birdie putt at Wyndham
He said his doctors think a January return might be overly ambitious, but he remains undeterred.
“I’ve set some goals along this process,” he said. “I told my wife when I walked into that hospital my goal was to walk out. I turned down the wheelchair and I walked out and got in the car two days later.
“My goal now to get back to playing is to start back in January,” Woodland continued, “which, some doctors think that’s optimistic, but I’m very optimistic about myself, my team around me, and my recovery. So my plan is to get back in January and tee it up and play a full year.”