I GUESS WHEN YOU exhaust all your other sports options—and bust up your body in the process—you can always turn to golf. That’s been the case for Blake Adams.
Adams is the cat who played in the final group with winner Jason Day at the HP Byron Nelson Championship and finished in a tie for second. He’s a 34-year-old rookie on the PGA Tour who competed in seemingly every sport but golf until his body wouldn’t let him. He became a golf professional at the ripe old age of 25.
“I was better at football, baseball, basketball growing up,” Adams said at the Byron Nelson, “and golf was something I did in the summertime and something that I always had some success at but it just wasn’t my sport. But after you tear your rotator cuff twice your baseball career is pretty much done, and football, too.”
Not that golf is easy for Blake. The man has a thick medical file. “I wake up like I’m 80 … I creak and crack,” he said.
Adams has the arthritis of a 60-year-old. Plus three bone spurs, a bulging disk in his back and a cyst. There’s more. He was also told he needs new hips. He has broken his left ankle and nearly every finger on his left hand. I’ve surely missed a few things. Did I mention he’s 34? Goodness gracious.
SI’s Gary Van Sickle called Adams “Tin Cup” and wrote that “he lives in a small town in south Georgia where he practices by hitting balls on a dirt road and shagging them himself with the help of his Labrador retriever.” I like that. (Hey, I wonder if his Lab is that blind, three-legged dog named Lucky.)
The rookie is just glad to be playing on the PGA Tour and cashing checks like the fat one from the Byron Nelson. About his health woes, Blake said, “I don’t know what’s next, but we’ll just fight through it whatever happens.”
I’m sure he will. And if golf doesn’t work out, there’s always billiards.
−The Armchair Golfer