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Golf Analyst Mark Rolfing to Return to Television After Cancer Battle

Posted By on December 16, 2015 in Golf, Sports |


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Mark Rolfing is a well known legend when it comes to the Hawaiian golf scene. It’s part of the reason that nothing was going to keep him away from the major tournament taking place in Kapalua on January 7th - not even a rare form of cancer. Mr.Rolfing was diagnosed with stage 4 salivary gland cancer in July after he discovered a small lump just under ear on his cheek. He assumed it was just a sinus infection that was occurring when the terrifying diagnosis was made by his doctor.

It’s only five months after his diagnosis that he’s returning to the job that he loves so much. It helps that the tournament is one that is near to his heart. Besides owning two homes on the island, Mr.Rolfing played in the Kapalua International Tournament for over fourteen years - 1982 to 1997. In 1997, it switched from an International Tournament to the start of the PGA tour’s new year as an unofficial event. It was then that he transitioned from playing the course to trading in for a spot behind the broadcasting table. He was the perfect expert to explain the ins and outs of the Plantation course, including how players would cope with trade winds and the Kona. His passion for his work and the sport that drove him to deal with his diagnosis head on. One day before the PGA Championship, the final major tournament for the year, he found himself headed to Chicago for a seven and a half hour operation to remove the tumor. His surgery lasted five hours longer than it was suppose to, but it was for the best. “I cannot believe how good it is to hear my voice” Rolfing said Monday evening, ABC News first reported. His voice was filled with the same excitement and passion that is conveyed through the television when working a major tournament. “And I cannot believe what kind of miracle I received” he followed with. Mr. Rolfing credits his wife Debi as being his support and rock. She helped him with everything he needed and as a result, he was up watching the the final round of the PGA Championship three days after his surgery. During the commentary of the game, Jim Nantz of CBS Sports sent his well wishes for a quick recovery. Mr. Nantz was the first of many different players, broadcasters and major people in the Golf World to send well wishes, all which were appreciated and needed. Six weeks of proton radiation at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston followed after his surgery. Proton radiation is a sophisticated treatment that was aimed at a petite place on his face in order to avoid damage to his brain. After the tournament, he still has a PET scan to detect if there is any cancer left. Mr. Rolfing is hoping for a clean bill of health at this checkup but that’s not the first thing on his mind. He’s looking forward to the new year and the tournament he holds so close to his heart. I’m looking forward to hearing his commentary and a cancer-free new year! -STEVE ELLIS