A European Tour Player's Incredible Story... In His Own Words!

A European Tour Player's Incredible Story... In His Own Words!

Matt Southgate is a European Tour player. But that does not explain the whole story. He's battled testicular cancer, battled for his niece with Leukemia and battled for his tour card.

Here in his own words is another amazing story... 

In 2002 The Open Championship was held at Muirfield and as always Dad and I packed the tent and went to Scotland to spectate the whole week from start to finish. It was mid morning on the Tuesday

I had over heard a conversation from inside the ropes that Tiger was going to play at 6am.

The following day to miss the hustle and bustle of the masses trying to get a glimpse of the world number one.

I told Dad my inside info, but he shrugged it off as a rumour. On and on I went through out the afternoon and into the evening.

I set my alarm for 5am and it was one of those early mornings where you are so excited you don’t have to rub your eyes, they just ping open and you know the day could be amazing!

I jostled Dad about in his bed and forced him to wake up, ‘’Come on Dad its Tiger, its Tiger!’’’

He got up (just like I knew he would) Even at 13 years old I had such a passion and love for the game of golf, he couldn’t just lie there and run the risk of me missing out.

Off we set.

We arrived at Muirfield and there was not a soul in sight. We made our way up the entrance road to the club and then we heard a car.

A 4x4 with blacked out windows rolled past us and pulled into the greenkeeper's shed no more than 100 yards in front of us.

Dad got a trot on and I dashed along behind. The car pulled into a space and stopped, there we both stood, hearts fluttering in our chests at what could be something very special.

The front left door opened and out stepped American journeyman Pro John Cook. The back left door then opened and out hopped Stevie Williams.

Then time seemed to almost just come to a standstill.

It was as if my little life had gone in to slow motion and the back right door began to open. Two feet plonked onto the floor with the Nike swoosh down on the right hand shoe as I looked.

A hand past its self out to the door handle, it was a hand that I knew. It was a hand that I had seen wave to a million fans, a hand that had picked out a hundred incredible putts, it was the hand that had held pretty much any golf trophy worth winning... It was of course the hand of Tiger Woods.

He was just right there and strike me down if I’m lying the only people that were anywhere near the guy was me and my Dad.

My rumour was true and I think my little face in this picture sums up how lucky that made me feel that morning!

15 years later here I am, sat in the Grand Millennium Hotel in Dubai in preparation for that special chance us golfers all dreamt of, the week I get to go toe to toe with the Tiger!!

Its only just now as I write this that some sense of achievement has sunk in, I’ve had some tough stuff to deal with along the way. What with little Hattie and the impact of her health on my family, my own health issues and the scare of maybe losing my career completely and seven trips to tour school pursuing my little childhood dreams.

Well with the help of my family, my friends, support from all corners of the globe and a lot of bloody hard work I find myself here!

I don’t care what happens this week I am going to look smart, conduct myself in the finest golfing manner I know, play with my special orange wrist band on to help keep life in perspective.

And just enjoy reminding myself that somewhere out there on the course is a certain Mr Woods and we are both doing our jobs in the same office this week 

That will make me smile and you know what?

If there is something in your heart you feel you want from your life, just take a look in that mirror, stand up tall, shoulders back and remember this

"You get one crack at this life, if something is worth fighting for you, go get it, for no one else but yourself! This world is not about about how hard you can hit, its about how hard you can get hit but keep moving forwards."

Mr Woods, it is a pleasure, best of luck and play well.

I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.