Twenty-six years after joining the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) tour and nine years after leaving it, George Knudson is planning to return. On June 28 the Toronto resident celebrated his 50th birthday— which, along with his eight tournament victories, qualifies him for the PGA’s $11.7-million Seniors tour. Knudson chose the Sept. 9 tournament in North Carolina for his Seniors’ debut, allowing time for a summer-long conditioning program. But last week, just four days before his birthday, Knudson suffered a setback. An examination for a respiratory ailment revealed a tumor on his lung, and he will undergo chemotherapy. Said Knudson: “If I can make it Sept. 9, I’ll be there. But there’s a different set of factors now.”
Before last week all the other factors seemed to be in place. With his golf school north of Toronto thriving and with a second instructional video and a book on his swing the-
ory scheduled to be released next April, Knudson looked forward to “going out and playing with my old friends, and seeing the sights I missed the last time.” Added Knudson, whose swing is still pure and smooth: “The first time around you realize the pitfalls, so this time it will be a hell of a lot easier. And how often do you get to give something a second chance?” Despite the wins and his $531,600 in prize money, Knudson says that he detested the pro tour. Declared the devoted family man: “I
hated the time away from Shirley and our three boys, the travel, the restaurants. If you are totally single-minded and totally selfish, you can do it. I am neither.” With his sons grown, Knudson says that he plans to travel again—this time with his wife. But first will come the medical treatment. Said Knudson: “Something else is now pulling the strings.”
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