Stefani turns medical exemption into playoff run

Shawn Stefani during the PGA Tour's 2014 Shell Houston Open.
Shawn Stefani during the PGA Tour's 2014 Shell Houston Open. ( Associated Press )

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Talking about his competitive nature and how it doesn’t matter what the game is, Shawn Stefani said “I hate to lose.” Then he paused and added, “I guess I picked the worst sport to play.”

That’s because even the greatest of the greats don’t win at a high rate of frequency – in other words, they lose a lot – and Stefani is among a long line of PGA Tour members still looking for that first win. Still, give the Houston native credit, because he started the 2013-14 season on a minor medical exemption, with two tournaments to regain his card.

He did that and here he is, teeing it up at the Deutsche Bank Championship. It doesn’t count as a win, of course, but it sure feels like he’s done something special.

If you had told Stefani back in March that he’d be qualified for the second playoff tournament, "I’d have laughed at you,” he said.

Stefani’s breakthrough season did include a missed-cut at the Open Championship, but even that had a happy ending – a major moment, if you will. It afforded him the chance to head to London for a few days with his girlfriend, Jackie, and on Sunday morning Stefani woke and barely had the sleep out of his eyes when he rolled over, reached into his shoe next to the bed, and took out a diamond ring that he had placed there for safe-keeping the night before.

“Will you spend the rest of your life with me?” Stefani asked.

The answer was yes. readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.