Memorable year for golfer Verplank began with emotional triumph

In his 21st full season on the PGA Tour, Scott Verplank has had a year to remember. Not only did the former Oklahoma State standout win the Byron Nelson, but he ended the year with 10 top-10 finishes and a career-best $3.1 million in earnings.

Things really didn’t begin to click for the 43-year-old Dallas native and current Edmond resident until he pulled off the emotional victory at the Nelson on April 29.

“There’s no question in my mind that the stars lined up and I got a little help from upstairs,” said Verplank, referring to his longtime friend Nelson, the Texas golfing legend who had passed away a few months earlier at 94.

The win in Dallas started a streak that saw Verplank earn nine top-10 finishes over his final 15 starts, including:
” a seventh-place finish at the U.S. Open,
” a ninth-place finish at the PGA Championship and
” a fifth-place finish at the PGA Tour Championship.

Not too bad for one who has had to battle Type 1 diabetes.

“My health has been better. And I’m closer to playing like I did as a kid as a collegian before I got hurt and before my health got a little tougher for me to handle,” said Verplank,. “So honestly, if I’m healthy now, I can play as good or better than I ever have. I’m enjoying it. I’m trying to, anyway.” “Jay C. Upchurch

Jay C. Upchurch

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