His name is Gabriel Hjertstedt (YERT-stet) and he participated in the 1998 Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. His route to the Masters was one no Hollywood writer could have created. It's not that he's not a good golfer, because he won last year's B.C. Open, but what makes his story so unusual is that he's had difficulties very few people would be able to overcome.
In 1995 he had to leave the European PGA Tour because he had some undiagnosed problems with his jaw which led to panic attacks and depression. Once during a meal in Italy he experienced cramping in his throat and was rushed to a hospital. Tests could find no cause, but the problem persisted for many months and he was so frightened he was unable to practice even on the driving range. As a result, he hit rock bottom, ran out of money, and slept in his car at gas stations. He was homeless and so depressed that he was too afraid and too proud to ask for help. Fortunately, the following year a dentist diagnosed a dislocated temporomandibular joint, a dysfunction of the lower jaw, and surgery solved the problem.
Apparently, all these difficulties, when combined with persistence and determination, have made him strong and put his game back together. When he won the B.C. Open it qualified him for a spot in the prestigious Master's Tournament.
Question: What are the odds of a homeless, depressed man who had serious emotional and physical problems making that tournament? That gives all of us hope that we can overcome the odds we face in life, and accomplish some marvelous things.
. . . From Zig Ziglar's popular book, STAYING UP, UP, UP IN A DOWN, DOWN WORLD. Ask for a copy at your favorite online or off-line bookstore.