ENDICOTT, N.Y. – As you well know by now, Doug Barron was crowned champion of the 2019 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open on Sunday.
What you may not know is just how far he’s come to get to that point.
Barron has been through a lot during the course of his golf career.
He played in 238 PGA Tour events from 1996 to 2009.
It was in that last year that Barron failed a drug test, the first player to fail under the tour’s anti-doping policy.
The test showed he had taken supplemental testosterone for low testosterone, and a beta blocker for a heart murmur.
The tour handed down a year suspension, which prompted Barron to fight back, saying he was given the medication under doctor’s advice.
He sued the PGA Tour, and in the fall of 2010, his suspension was lifted and his suit was settled.
However, Barron wouldn’t play another PGA Tour event.
Fast forward ten years, and Barron turned fifty in July, making him eligible for the Champions Tour.
He qualified for the Senior Open Championship in late July, and finished 5th.
Then, in just his second Champions tour event, Doug won the Dick’s Open after overcoming two weather delays, including having to finish his second round Sunday morning at 7:00 am before starting his final round.
After his life-changing win, Barron struggled to keep it together while reflecting on the sacrifiices made during his journey.
“The biggest thing, the biggest emotion was one, I missed taking my son to college yesterday. That was…I needed to justify that. That’s a tough deal. I hope you don’t have to go through that. Sorry guys. And two, just all the people that believed in me over the last couple years. A lot of emotions ran through me. My 12-year old has never really seen me play, I haven’t been playing a lot since he’s been born or has been old enough to know. And then my wife. We’ve been married 23 years, and her believing in me and saying Doug, we only live once, let’s go do this,” he said.
I think it’s safe to say Doug’s son, Buzz, as he’s called, is fine with his dad missing his move-in day in order to change his family’s lives.
After having so much time away from the sport after the suspension and, as he put it, firing himself from golf in 2012, Barron didn’t really think he would be on the course professionally again.
“I never really aspired to play again. I taught for five years, and I got in another business. I just had some good fortune and my golf game kind of came back. I just said ‘hey honey,’ my wife Leslie, ‘do you think it’s ok if I go try this again?’ I found nine guys plus myself to get myself some money to go play. for the last year and a half, I’ve been doing pretty good. I’ve own four tournaments, not counting this one, now five, thank you. I mean, it’s a life changer. I mean, I love this community. I’ll never forget this moment as long as I live. this is cool.”
An incredible story of perseverance, support from family and friends, and belief in himself comes to a perfect end for Doug Barron at the Dick’s Open.
However, that’s only the end of a chapter, as with this win, Doug now has a tour exemption for the rest of this year and next, meaning his latest chapter is just beginning.