A lot of athletes lose a yard of pace as they grow older, ageing golfers lose some distance off the tee but former Irish Open champion Brett Rumford returns to the tournament he won 11 years ago missing a foot of intestine.
The Australian returned to the European Tour for last week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth having spent nine weeks on the sidelines since undergoing surgery in South Africa to have 12 inches of small intestine removed. Rumford, 38, had been playing the Tshwane Open in Pretoria when he was struck down with what he thought was food poisoning after eating an apple.
“I had a blockage in my small intestine as it turned out and I’ve had partial blockages before through eating apples, which is the only correlation I can make to obviously having the pain and generally having that two-hour or three-hour onset of when the pain starts to kick in.
“I had an apple through the turn on the Friday of the South African Open. Sure enough, I had my lunch after I had finished, and then started to feel the waves of pain come on.”
Used to the inconvenience from previous bouts, Rumford was expecting a night in hospital at worst but got way more than he bargained for.
“They got me on some morphine, put in a nasal drip, which wasn’t very pleasant. When that happens you know, obviously this was something a bit more serious (than food poisoning).
“They removed 12 inches of small intestine as they couldn’t release the blockage any other way It was a painful experience, a pretty scary one, as well. It just makes you appreciate how fortunate we are in life just to be fit and healthy.”
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