On April 18, PGA TOUR golfer and skin cancer survivor Brian Davis turned in a world-class performance at the Verizon Heritage tournament on Hilton Head Island, SC. But people are lauding The Skin Cancer Foundation ambassador not just for his golf game but his sportsmanship: Brian sacrificed a chance to capture a TOUR victory on Sunday by calling a penalty on himself.
After the first 72 holes, Brian was tied with 14-time PGA TOUR winner Jim Furyk for the tournament title. After taking a shot on the first sudden-death PGA playoff hole, Brian suspected his club had hit a loose reed (the ball lay amid wet sand and sea grass) during his backswing - a rules violation that would incur a two-stroke penalty and scupper the golfer's chances at his first ever TOUR victory.
Brian immediately told TOUR director Slugger White what he thought had happened, prompting officials to review the television replay footage. Only during slow motion replays was it clear that his club had, in fact, hit the reed. Shortly thereafter, Brian conceded the game to Furyk, and earned $615,000 for his second-place finish.
Brian, who has been treated for two basal cell carcinomas and one squamous cell carcinoma, contacted The Skin Cancer Foundation about working with us to raise skin cancer awareness in 2009. He is committed to educating the public about sun protection, and his story is featured in the 2010 edition of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal.
Brian's high standards and dedication have been clear to us since he first expressed interest in partnering with The Skin Cancer Foundation to promote skin cancer awareness. We're honored to work with him, and pleased (though not surprised) to see his professionalism and integrity acknowledged. We congratulate Brian on his great tournament!