‘I’ll never forget this’: Why this pro’s lone PGA Tour start was so meaningful

It was an emotional finish to Brian Morris' PGA Tour debut.

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In his PGA Tour debut at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, Brian Morris wasn’t even close to being in the mix. In fact, he finished last — 25 shots behind his closest competitor, and 39 shots shy of the cutline.

But scores and finishing position are probably the last things on Morris’ mind this week. Because in December 2019, Morris was diagnosed with Stage IV terminal brain cancer.

The 54-year-old head pro at Bermuda’s Ocean View Golf Course is scheduled to receive his 32nd chemo treatment on Monday. He was given a sponsor’s exemption into the tournament, and played the first two rounds alongside his cousin and fellow Bermuda pro Michael Sims.

On Wednesday, Morris explained how much playing golf has meant to him throughout his treatment.

“It’s like tranquility for me. I don’t have time to think about being sick. I don’t feel sick, I don’t act sick,” he said. “Just because I’m playing golf, I don’t have any time to think about anything like that. I’m just hitting shots and trying to make putts and trying to stay out of bunkers.”

Morris posted rounds of 89-92. When he tapped in on his final hole on Friday, he raised his arms in victory as the emotion of the moment overcame him.

There were hugs all around, as Morris tapped his chest and blew kisses to the gallery in gratitude.

“It’s been absolutely amazing,” he said after his round. “I’ll never forget this forever.”

Morris’ opportunity to live his dream of competing on the PGA Tour offered a much-needed respite from the treatment grind he’s endured for nearly two years.

“It’s such a rough journey, man. This is the hardest thing,” he said. “And I’m not talking about golf, I’m talking about this battle. You know, it’s the hardest thing ever.

“I hope I inspire people. When things happen this way, all the bad stuff, you know, you just see how much people love you. To be able to do this is amazing.”

Jessica Marksbury
Golf.com

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.