After Day 1 of the Web.com Tour’s LECOM Health Challenge, 101 golfers are under par.
One of them is Dudley Hart, in the mix at -2.
Hart is one of the few locals playing in this year's tournament. He was born in Rochester, currently lives in Buffalo and former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff is one of his good friends. Hart is a certified Buffalonian.
But, the WNY connection is not the only reason you should root for him.
Dudley’s wife, Suzanne, is caddying for him for the first time this weekend.
“Life throws you curve balls sometimes and you just got to fight through them and keep moving forward," said Dudley. "We've had a couple curve balls thrown at us over the years.”
In 2007, while Dudley was away on the PGA Tour, Suzanne got sick. What they thought was pneumonia turned into something much worse.
"They found a softball sized tumor in one of her lungs and we got very lucky it wasn't as bad as it could have been," recalled Dudley. "It was a scary time for sure."
Dudley put his family ahead of golf and took himself off the PGA Tour. He went home to take care of Suzanne and care for their five-year-old triplets.
"I think we were just lucky that we got through everything," said Suzanne Dudley. "We were pretty lucky that it was self-contained, the cancer and the tumor."
Once his wife recovered and Dudley had full confidence she was back to good health, he returned to golf the next year. And, he played the best golf of his career.
"I think that was a big part of why I played so well that next season," Dudley reflected. "It put things into perspective. A bad round of golf, in the scheme of things, is not that big of a deal when you go through something like that."
After everything the Hart family went through, Dudley was named the PGA Tour's Comeback Player of the Year in 2008.
As for Suzanne, she's been in perfect health for the past decade. So, if you're looking for a player to root for this weekend, keep an eye on Dudley Hart.
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