A decade ago, Gene Sauers was given a 25 percent chance of survival after being diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome that sidelined him from the game for seven years.
Now the 53-year-old is a major champion.
Sauers outlasted Miguel Angel Jimenez, Billy Mayfair and others at a rain-soaked Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, where a Monday finish was required after Sunday’s play was washed out. The Georgia native birdied Nos. 1, 3 and 12 on the final day, but it was a vital bogey save on the 15th and a crucial par conversion on the 72nd hole that made the difference as Jimenez couldn’t get up-and-down to force a playoff.
His emotion was undeniable moments following the win.
“I didn’t touch a club for seven years and I didn’t know if I would ever play again,” Sauers said. “I thank the Lord for saving my life.”
Read more about his journey here.