Philadelphia, PA – During a recent round of golf, one of my playing partners joked about a companion, "When you're that good, you can take all the time off you want, and still have it when you come back."
That may be true, but I'm not sure it is as easy as he made it seem.
Just ask Jeff Klauk.
For the first time in 14 months, Klauk is teeing it up this week on the Web.com Tour. In the interim, the 34-year-old has battled through multiple procedures, tests and medication changes.
Klauk was first diagnosed with epilepsy in 2006, but the side effects were getting worse. An incident on Christmas Eve 2010 was the turning point.
"I'm still the same person I was before, except occasionally I have these 20- second space-outs that happen at night most of the time," Klauk told PGATour.com. One such space-out happened while he was driving to church with his wife and children the night before Christmas.
After that incident, he went through a battery of tests and it was determined that he was suffering complex partial seizures. For the most part, he was unaware when they were happening.
Klauk continued to play in 2011, splitting time between the PGA Tour and the then Nationwide Tour. In 12 starts, he earned just over $42,000 before shutting it down after the Wichita Open.
According to PGATour.com, Klauk underwent a procedure in April in which 108 electrodes were attached to the inside of his skull to locate the source of the seizures.
The hardest part he told the website is, "I feel bad I have to rely on everyone else if I have to get around town or go to the doctor. That's the last thing I want to do."
He returns to the course this week at the Albertsons Boise Open for the first time in a professional event since last June in Wichita, Kansas. No one knows what to expect.
"My golf game hasn't gone anywhere. It's just a process of getting my golf game back," Klauk said. "There's no reason I shouldn't play well this week. My game's good."
If you don't remember how much game Klauk had, he was a two-time NCAA Division II individual champion as an amateur. Klauk also owns two wins on the Web.com Tour, which came in 2003 and 2008.
Three times in the 2009 season, Klauk posted fourth-place finishes on the PGA Tour, but he hasn't had a top-10 anywhere since.
Should we expect that this week? Of course not, but Klauk has enough game where it wouldn't shock anyone if that were to happen.
ANDALUCIA MASTERS AXED BY FINANCIAL WOES
After failing to find a title sponsor, the European Tour's Andalucia Masters was dropped from the schedule earlier this week.
It comes as a blow to the European Tour, which over the last few years has been adding tournaments and keeping sponsors at a pace equal to or better than the PGA Tour.
In a golf-rich region, the Andalucia Masters had two big-name winners in its short history. Sergio Garcia claimed the crown in 2011 a year after Graeme McDowell capped a stellar 2010 campaign with his third tour title.
"This is extremely disappointing news to receive, especially at such a late date. We have been long term partners with the Junta (de Andalucia) for over 25 years," said European Tour chief executive George O'Grady.
"We have worked together to promote the region, and the Junta de Andalucia and the European Tour have enjoyed an exceptionally strong and committed long term partnership. We will work with the Junta to rectify this situation both now and in the future."
There were three other events canceled earlier this year in Spain.
The financial crisis may be coming to an end in some parts of the world, but clearly everything isn't back to normal. Hopefully, this event returns in 2013.
* The Ryder Cup is two weeks out so things could change, but as of Monday's rankings, all 24 players who will compete at Medinah are ranked in the top 35 in the world rankings. That is unheard of.
* Leta Lindley, the 2008 LPGA Corning Classic champion, announced her retirement from the LPGA Tour after missing the cut last weekend at Kingsmill. Lindley, who earned over $3 million during her 18-year career, will focus on being a full-time mother to her two children.