BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. (WIS) - This week, Blythewood native Eddie Hargett competes in his second-ever U.S. Senior Open as an amateur.
It marks seven years between appearances on one of the grandest stages in golf. To play this event again is a thrill for Hargett, who was relegated to spectator status three-and-a-half years ago.
"Probably the most painful thing I have ever done," Hargett said.
Hargett loves to be active and swing away on the links. Joy in his life was stripped away, however, after he underwent spinal fusion surgery.
"I was released after four months,” Hargett recalled. “The doctor said I could go chip-and-putt and those sorts of things. When I would try to hold up a wedge, my left arm wasn't strong enough. I couldn't. I literally couldn't hold a wedge in the air."
That experience was brutal.
"The doctors give you an idea of the what-ifs,” Hargett explained. “It took me about a year-and-a-half to do one push-up. It's been quite a challenge."
It marked tough times for Hargett. He relied on the lessons learned on the links to fuel his drive back to health.
"Golf isn't a game of perfect,” Hargett said. “Golf is a game that will beat you up more than it will reward you. You kind have that mentality of being resilient."
Another piece to the recovery puzzle came from the support of his son, Cole.
"Just trying to keep him safe and not do anything dumb," Cole said.
Hargett, with a little help from Cole, worked his tail off in the gym to return to form quickly.
"It was never a question to me he'd be back,” Cole said.”II knew he would be. He loves the game too much. It shocked me a little bit he'd get back so quickly."
Hargett returned to a level worthy of qualifying for the 2019 U.S. Senior Open.
"Now, at 58, you don't know if it will ever happen again,” Hargett said. “But,I'll definitely have a different appreciation for it.”
Just like in his only other appearance in 2012, his son Cole will be on the bag as the caddy.
“I think it will be a little more special this time,” Cole said. “Experience a little bit more. Heck, I might be even a little bit nervous now. You never know, but I’m excited.”