Trainer returns to Tour ‘just happy to be alive’
Monday, January 18, 2010
HONOLULU – Jim Weathers, a physical trainer to Phil Mickelson and others on the PGA Tour, returned to the circuit after a series of life-threatening events triggered by a bizarre greenside episode in 2008.
Weathers, who responded to Chez Reavie’s victory in the ’08 RBC Canadian Open by spraying his client with champagne inside the ropes behind the 18th green, was tackled by a Royal Canadian Mountie. Weathers since has had numerous medical problems that he says were related to the incident after a throat implant was dislodged.
A year after the incident, Weathers was hospitalized with pulmonary embolism due to blood clots and an infection in the gastrointestinal tract.
“I coded twice,” Weathers said, using the term for cardiac arrest.
Weathers, 48, a burly former Green Beret whose training is as a shiatsu master, still has a blood clot in his left arm but says he is about 80 percent recovered. He faces a legal dispute with the Mountie and, with $780,000 in medical bills, the prospect of bankruptcy.
“But I’m just happy to be alive,” he said.