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Woodland to go under knife

Gary Woodland is set to undergo surgery to remove a lesion from his brain. | Stacy Revere/agence France-presse

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Former US Open champion Gary Woodland said he will have surgery next month to remove a lesion from his brain.

The American golfer said he had been trying to treat the lesion, which was diagnosed “a few months ago,” with medication, but after consultation with specialists has decided to go ahead with surgery on 18 September.

“I’m in good spirits with my family and team by my side and so thankful for the love and support of everyone,” Woodland, whose four US PGA Tour titles include the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach, wrote on social media.

Woodland warmed hearts after that victory when he took a moment to make a video call to Amy Bockerstette, a young Arizona golfer with Down Syndrome that Woodland had met and played with during the week of the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Open.

Video of Bockerstette’s confident par save from a bunker in Phoenix, and Woodland’s clear delight in her performance, charmed golf fans when it went viral on social media, the moment sparking a lasting friendship between the two.

He and his wife, Gabby, have three children.

This season Woodland finished 94th in the FedEx Cup standings, making 18 cuts in 24 starts with two top-10 finishes.

The 39-year-old didn’t give a timetable for his return, saying only: “Thank you for your support during this time.’

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