He felt a twinge in his lower back at the U.S. Open. He kept playing through the summer, trying to reach his goals of qualifying for the Tour Championship (which he did) and making the Ryder Cup team (which he did not).
Turns out he had inflamed joints in his lower back, the product of slightly bad posture in his swing. Thanks to 3-D video archives at the Titleist Performance Institute, Fowler realized that the angle of his back was leaning away from the ball, a difference of only 5 degrees. But over time, it began causing pain.
He wound up taking plenty of time off to let it heal, missing his title defense in the Korea Open. Even now, Fowler said he’s not quite at 100 percent, but he’s good enough. And that time off left him excited about playing.
“After the two-month break I had, it kind of fueled the fire a little bit to come back out, and it makes you want to play and compete more,” he said.
MASTER CRAFTSMAN MEMORY: Titleist’s staff players at Kapalua are wearing gold ribbons on their hats in memory of Jaime Ramos, the master golf club builder at Titleist who died of a heart attack during the holiday at age 58.
Ramos made clubs for 35 years, starting at Cobra Golf when he built clubs for the likes of Greg Norman, Hale Irwin and Seve Ballesteros. He jointed Titleist in 1996 and built the clubs for all of Titleist‘s’ players around the world, a list that over the years included Tiger Woods, David Duval, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Rory McIlroy.
“He took pride in his job and enjoyed watching the players he built clubs for have success,” said Chris Tuten, director of tour promotions for Titleist. “He was a legend among club builders and will be sorely missed by the Titleist family and all those who knew him.”
NO PANIC IN PARADISE: The last time Charlie Beljan played in a tournament, he suffered a severe panic attack at Disney that caused shortness of breath, spiked his blood pressure and sent him to the hospital _ and yet he still managed to win.
It was a remarkable story to end the year, and it made Beljan eligible for the Tournament of Champions. Two months certainly feels like a lifetime ago.
“Feeling much better,” Beljan said. “Changed some eating habits. Changed some fitness routines and been working hard on my short game and looking forward to a great week here.”
Beljan figures he will be known as the rookie who suffered a panic attack, but he doesn’t mind considering the number of people who might be helped because of the attention he brought to anxiety attacks.
“I’d like to be known as a golfer and a free spirit and a fun loving guy, but at the same time, what I experienced out there and what everybody saw brought a lot of attention to panic attacks and anxiety attacks and what a big deal it is and how many people do face it on a daily basis,” Beljan said. “So I’ve gotten a lot of letters and a lot of emails and stuff like that saying that I’ve been an inspiration to all.View Entire Story
By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up.
Are there profound differences between the Left and the Right? You betcha.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
A carefully guided tour through the confusing world of modern bookselling and publishing.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention