No Farewell… Just Brian’s Song – The Royal Gazette

Born a Fighter: Brian Morris has terminal cancer but refuses to let it spoil his love of golf, which he hopes will take him to the US Open to qualify next month (Photo by Akil Simmons)

With the sad passing of Brian Morris on Sunday, Royal Gazette Dives into the archives from April 2021 to recall the famous golfer’s views on his battle with terminal brain cancer and determination to live life to the fullest

Brian song It was a critically acclaimed 1971 made-for-television movie that detailed the life of Brian Piccolo, a white American football player with terminal cancer whose fight against the disease was aided by sports and the friendships derived from it.

Born a Fighter: Brian Morris has terminal cancer but refuses to let it spoil his love of golf, which he hopes will take him to the US Open to qualify next month (Photo by Akil Simmons)

Bermudian golf pro Brian Morris may never have caught his eye in Hollywood or on television, but his story of perseverance, strength and enduring hope is nothing short of inspiring and a true story of a burning desire to not only survive in the face of agony, but thrive in spite of adversity. extreme adversity.

Born a Fighter: Brian Morris has terminal cancer but refuses to let it spoil his love of golf, which he hopes will take him to the US Open to qualify next month (Photo by Akil Simmons)

And so, with unyielding grit and determination, Morris, though diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer, with many parts of his body, including the essential elements of golf—his hands and his feet—in constant states of post-pain, fully intending to He replaces him next month in a major US Open qualifying event at Crown Colony Golf and Country Club in Fort Myers, Florida. The project represents the fulfillment of a long-standing desire to compete on one of the greatest stages of professional golf.

said Morris, who finished sixth at the BPGA Stroke Play Championships last week with rounds of 77, 76 and 74 at Tucker’s Point golf course — 16 strokes behind winner Dwayne Berman. “I let other parts of life get in the way, but I’m ready now and can’t wait. I signed up and booked to go.”

The Ocean View Golf Club professional team’s journey is sure to be a grueling one; This understands. and the odds are high for venturing beyond this initial hurdle toward the great U.S. Open, yet neither illness nor its burdens can lessen the hilarious intent of a man who has in his life witnessed more than his fair share of tragedy.

A series of frightening events saw Morris lose his father Dennis, his mother Anne and his sister Denise, each dying at the age of 49. Thus, it was with great relief and no small amount of fuss when he managed to reach the hitherto insurmountable age of 50.

“My father died in an accident at the Nationals [Sports Club]“My mom died at 49 from cancer and my sister had Down syndrome, but she was a princess and died of complications at 49,” Morris said in revealing the horror story. “I was fatherless at 19, and I lost my scholarship to Mitchell college football. Because I had a 13-year-old little brother, Martin, who needed me, and so did my sister.

“I grew up quickly. From living with my dad while waiting to go to college to being an orphan just trying to survive.”

However, with his wife, Lori, Uncle Douglas “Blip” Morris, and Aunt, Debbie, set to accompany him to the Sunshine State, Brian aims to swing the fairways and greens on May 25th.

“I hope I stay healthy enough to actually make it,” Morris said with a chuckle. “My expectation is to qualify, and if I do it’s a miracle.

“If I didn’t, at least I did. I did my best and I’m going to go home and get on with life. I’m going to take it all I have.” [medical] The results of the first week of May, so I don’t know what the doctor would say to me, and it’s more pressure than the qualifiers.”

Ironically, as his body dissolved, Morris’ game improved in terms of consistency, especially with regard to ball placement, trajectory and shot selection, even as his strength and length dwindled away from the tee.

“I’ve had to change clubs because I don’t have the strength and speed I used to,” he said. “Thanks to Cobra Puma and Red Laser Bermuda, I have a brand new set. We’re in the courtship phase now, we’re not married yet, but we will be. I really like them and I have six weeks to find out, distance-wise.”

The 53-year-old told how there are few restrictions imposed by medical requirements and treatments that often strain muscles and the body in general, and this restricts time on the driving range, putting greens and training areas.

What remains largely undisturbed, however, is his sanity, a miracle in itself given the earlier need to have affected removal of a malignant brain tumor, which was the first of many life-extending procedures of the last few years.

Morris has always possessed the intangibles that often can’t be taught but are required to succeed at the professional level – like the ‘feel’ inherent in the game, strong strength under heavy pressure and a beautiful swing that comes from birth.

“I definitely have strength and endurance issues, but I can fight that with my heart,” he explained. “I can’t prepare much because of the fatigue. I play from what I know.

“My swing has always been very good, so I don’t play with that and I’ve learned to be more patient and enjoy the game a lot.

“I give my best every round and if I play poorly I get upset. But does that really matter? Not really when you look at the scope of my situation. I’m not a la-di-da, ‘just enjoy life by any means’ person by any means, but I aim to Do the best I can with what I have that day.”

Most days, Morris’ pain scale reads 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, but there are several days when it’s a 9. When he’s in the US Open Grand Qualifiers, he hopes he gets a Level 4 moment.

“I know the pain will never leave me,” he said, “and unfortunately it’s my feet and my hands, the two most important things in golf.” “I only control what I can control.

“Let’s just say I feel good, I’m booked, my entry is paid, I have a place to stay and my family is with me. Let’s just see how it goes.”

When asked what message he hoped his inspiring tale of unflinching refusal to give to others who might be fighting decidedly daunting challenges would convey, Morris said hopeful words:

“I’m not going to be cliché and say, ‘Day by day. ‘ I say, ‘Make plans, do the things you’ve always thought about doing, even if it’s just once.’

“Your life is not important unless you are important to people. If you have been treated badly, help others who may be on the same hand. Surround yourself with positive people.

“Don’t dog because it’s raining. Get an umbrella and be grateful that your tank is filling up. Don’t be afraid of having a bad day. You can get mad and sad, but just let it go. I have bad days, but I also make some bad days good.”

“You have to believe. Don’t listen to the stats. Forget about life expectancy! You’re not average…you are.”

“I have helped and met so many people that I would never have met before, and maybe just maybe I got this disease so I could help others. Maybe this is my calling?

“I don’t have millions but I have a positive to spare and I care; it may be more than any amount.”

As for the threat of Covid-19 and his status as a vulnerable person, Morris has been forthright in pointing to the coronavirus pandemic as among his least concerns.

“Covid I take it as it comes,” he said. “I respect everyone’s opinion on that, but I think I’ve had really bad luck, and there’s no way I could take on another challenge.

“I got the vaccine and whether or not it works, only time will tell — I have other problems that are much more serious than that.”

Morris may be best known as a golfer; However, he has long proven himself to be an all-round athlete, as well as excelling at cricket for the former Nationals Athletic Club and Hamilton Parish, as well as attending Mitchell College on a football scholarship and switching locally for the BAA, Wolves and Parish. He also represented Bermuda in the World Cup and the Caribbean Darts Championship.

However, golf has always been his first love.

“I played football and cricket because none of my boys played golf,” he said. “I wanted to hang out with them, so I played soccer for the BAA, Wolves and Hamilton Parish and cricket for the Nationals and Hamilton Parish.

“I was fine, a bit rough, but I never loved her as much as I played golf. I loved the friends I made and still have a lot of them today,” [Mark] “Beaver” Ray, Darren Lewis, [Troy] “Saggus” bean, to name a few.

“But I liked the uniqueness of golf because it’s on you, it’s just you. You don’t take five wickets, score 50 or score three and lose at golf.”

Next stop, Fort Myers.

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