PGA Tour rookie Joel Dahmen, who tees off Thursday in the Wells Fargo Championship, continues to draw strength from the burden of cancer that has afflicted himself and his family.
Dahmen, who has labored for success since turning pro in 2010, cliched his 2017 PGA Tour card by finishing 25th in the Web.com Tour last season. “It’s been a roller coaster to get here,” he told PGATOUR.com.
But before earning his PGA Tour card, his real-life struggles included a nightmarish family-wide bout with cancer. His mother died of pancreatic cancer when he was in high school. Five years later in 2009, his brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He survived.
Dahmen received the same diagnosis as his brother in 2011.
“I did know if I was going to live or die,” Dahmen recalled thinking when he learned he had cancer six years ago. “I didn’t know if I was going to play golf again. I just needed to play golf again.”
His treatment included surgery and chemotherapy.
His mother remains his inspiration. “I think about her everyday,” he said. “You are playing for someone other than yourself.”