Sick son consumes Senden during PGA fight

Australia's John Senden is using a new, one-time exemption to stay on the US PGA Tour while his son Jacob continues treatment for a brain tumour.

JOHN SENDEN
JOHN SENDEN Picture: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

With his son Jacob facing MRI scans every six months for a brain tumour, Australian veteran John Senden admits it's difficult to focus on utilising a one-time US PGA Tour wildcard to keep his job.

The 48-year-old Senden - whose son was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2017 - is playing on the US Tour this year courtesy of a new category for players who have made 300 cuts in their career.

Senden, a two-time US Tour winner, qualified with 313 cuts made.

The Queenslander was forced to use that exemption this year after he was unable to retain his status in 2019.

In 2018, Senden played on a major medical extension having taken an extended break from the PGA Tour in 2017 when Jacob was diagnosed at the age of 13.

Senden has missed the cut in five of his six starts this year but was appreciative of the category the US Tour created last season.

"I'm pretty fortunate that I've been out here long enough to earn something like that and I've been very grateful the PGA Tour has given me what I have," Senden told AAP at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Tuesday.

"Now, I have to use that category and make the best of it. I probably have another 16 tournaments left in me this year and I've set the goal to become exempt again for next season.

"A lot of people have surrounded me with support and told me to go out and enjoy myself and that's what I'm trying to do.

"It's been challenging; my results haven't been as good as I want. But I'm working hard to get the feelings back like in 2009 and 2010 when I was playing my best golf."

Senden said the treatment on Jacob's brain tumour had shown positive signs, with his son requiring MRIs every six months instead of three months.

"Jacob has been through plenty, as we know. Crazy medicine, chemotherapy and full radiation that has hurt his body. But he's a strong kid," Senden said.

"He's in a position now where the tumour is still in the brain, but it's very small now. However, it's not gone.

"Since 2017, he's had MRIs every three months, but the results are that the tumour is getting smaller and that's a good thing.

"Jacob's last MRI was October and his next is March."

Senden is joined at this week's Pebble Beach Pro-Am by fellow Australians Jason Day, Aaron Baddeley, Matt Jones, Cameron Davis, Rhein Gibson and Rod Pampling.


AAP