Gary Woodland Health: What Happened to Gary Woodland?

Gary Woodland

The past season has been a true test of resilience for Gary Woodland, the 2019 U.S. Open champion. Last summer, the 39-year-old golfer faced a daunting health challenge—a brain lesion that severely impacted his ability to play golf and led to intense anxiety.

The journey, however, took a positive turn after the successful removal of the tumor, marking the beginning of Woodland’s inspiring road to recovery.

Gary Woodland
Gary Woodland

Gary Woodland Health

However, after undergoing surgery to remove the brain tumor, Woodland embarked on a remarkable journey of recovery. According to sources, four months post-surgery, Woodland made his comeback at the 2024 Sony Open but missed the cut. ‘

Undeterred, he faced similar outcomes at the WM Phoenix Open and Torrey Pines. Nevertheless, the turning point seemed to be at Riviera, where a sponsor exemption from Tiger Woods provided him with a chance to compete at the Genesis Invitational.

What Happened to Gary Woodland?

Woodland’s battle extended beyond physical challenges, encompassing fear-driven moments and severe side effects from medication. Despite playing through symptoms at times, he faced moments of intense fear, especially during the Memorial in Ohio.

Post-surgery, Woodland’s energy levels were at a minimum, but his determination led to a swift return to the golf course, symbolizing triumph over adversity.

A Day to Remember: Playing with Tiger Woods

Woodland’s gratitude towards Tiger Woods for the sponsor exemption was evident, as he expressed, “It was the best day I had all year.” The support and recognition from Woods served as a morale booster for Woodland, who acknowledged that today was a significant step in the right direction.

NBC reported his satisfaction with the round, stating that despite a few bogeys, he played “beautifully” at Riviera, finishing 1 under 70.

Riviera Redemption

Woodland’s performance at Riviera showcased his resilience. Starting his round with three consecutive birdies and making an eagle at par-4 hole 10, he finished tied at 28 on the leaderboard, outshining his playing partners, Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas.

The camaraderie between the three was evident, with tough competition on the course and moments of enjoyment of it.

Reunion on the Greens

The meeting between Woods and Woodland at Riviera was not just a professional reunion but a celebration of friendship. Tiger Woods, who had been off the greens since the last Masters, and Woodland, recovering from health issues, finally crossed paths.

As Woods expressed, “It was great to just be out there with those two.” The camaraderie extended beyond the course, with Woods revealing their off-course interactions through texts and calls.

A Crucial Decision

Woodland’s doctor, recognizing the severity, opted for an MRI before treating symptoms. The MRI uncovered the brain lesion, leading to medication to stop seizures but with unpleasant side effects. Woodland continued playing on Tour, but the fear and side effects took a toll. At the Memorial in June, he faced a particularly scary incident, jumping out of bed in fear.

Surgery and Recovery

Eventually, Woodland had to make a difficult decision to undergo surgery. The operation carried risks, including potential loss of eyesight and paralysis. Post-surgery, Woodland faced a challenging recovery with 30 staples in his head. Even at home, his children feared for his life as he rested on the couch.

Return to the Greens

Woodland’s resilience shone through as he gradually returned to the game. Five weeks post-surgery, he started swinging a club, and a putting simulator at home helped him practice putting during recovery. Despite concerns about his game, instructor Butch Harmon assured him he was on the right track.

A New Perspective

The entire experience has left Woodland with a changed perspective on life. He expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support and emphasized his determination to prove that one can overcome tough decisions. With his brain still under monitoring, Woodland looks ahead with optimism, believing that great things are on the horizon for his career.

In Woodland’s own words, “Nothing is going to stop me. I believe that. I believe a lot of great things are ahead.” As he strives to reclaim his position as a top golfer, his journey stands as a testament to resilience, friendship, and the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

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