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September 22, 2009

Ken Green for Champions Tour comeback player of the year

Posted at 4:22 PM by Rick Lipsey | Categories: Champions Tour, Ken Green

I don't usually care about end-of-season awards because they're so anticlimactic. But Ken Green is my pick for the Champions Tour comeback player of the year.

Green, 51, met death eye-to-eye in June in a horrific crash that killed his brother, his girlfriend and his German shepherd. They were driving through Mississippi when their RV blew a tire and hit a tree. Green was the lone survivor. He spent weeks in a hospital. His right leg was amputated. His mind was shattered.

The crash interrupted a season that might have put him in the running for comeback player of the year. After eons of cashing almost no checks on any tour, Green had finally fought off mental health problems, the yips and other issues and was doing reasonably well in his first full season on the senior circuit. Before the crash, he had earned $123,906 in 11 Champions events.

Green is now back home in West Palm Beach, Fla., and learning to walk on a prosthetic leg. But that's not all. According to pgatour.com, he's determined to become the first professional golfer to play with a prosthetic. A couple of weeks ago, Green played for the first time since the accident and shot a three-over 39 for nine holes. He quit, exhausted, after 11 holes.

"It was good," Green told pgatour.com. "I played halfway decent, considering."

Green wants to play on tour with his prosthetic, but he says he probably won't be ready in 2010. So why not vote him comeback player of the year this season? The fact that he played golf just a few months after the accident is inspiring and amazing. Since there are no official qualifications - his fellow players simply vote -- it would be a cool gesture if his peers elected him comeback player of the year.

And if he ever plays a Champions Tour event again, no matter where he finishes, he should win in a landslide. That's how amazing his comeback would be.

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