No place like home for diabetic Verplank

  • Other Sport
  • Sunday, 12 Aug 2007

SCOTT Verplank, who wears an insulin pump to control his diabetes while golfing, fired his lowest score in 14 PGA Championship starts on Friday to grab second place behind Tiger Woods. 

Verplank, of nearby Oklahoma City, shot a four-under 66 in the second round completing his bogey-free round with two birdies over the final four holes. 

The crowd favourite among the sunbaked spectators in Tulsa, Verplank revealed on Friday he learned at age nine he had diabetes and so he carries an insulin pump with him during his rounds. 

“I just monitor what I am doing. I check my blood sugar. I have this insulin pump that is helpful,” Verplank said. 

“It (pump) has helped my career because it has made me more stable. I can tell my sugar levels so I am a little more consistent. 

“I am in my own little world and I kind of have to be.” 

Verplank had surgery twice in 1992 and 1995 to correct problems related to him being a diabetic. 

Woods, who flirted with the historic 62 score on Friday before finishing at seven-under 63, calls Verplank a good friend and is pleased to be in the final pairing with his fellow American. 

“He (Verplank) is one of the toughest competitors with all the health issues he's had to deal,” Woods said. “It is pretty remarkable that he's been as competitive as he has been over the years.” 

Verplank said he is now having some trouble with his sight but you couldn't tell it from the first two rounds of the US$7mil tournament and final major of 2007. 

“I hit the ball yesterday and today as good as I have ever hit it,” said Verplank. “I just hit a lot of fairways, lots of greens, very solid shots and putting birdies at most holes. 

“I have actually been struggling reading the greens a little bit. So I am hoping to get my eyes fixed where I can see the lines a little better.” – AFP  

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