A warm aloha: Watch Gary Woodland’s emotional return to PGA Tour after brain surgery

Gary Woodland underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his brain on Sept. 18, 2023. Just 115 days later, the four-time PGA Tour winner was back to work with a strong showing of support.

The 2019 U.S. Open champion made his return to PGA Tour play on Thursday in the first round of the 2024 Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Woodland was visibly emotional on No. 10 tee, his first hole of the day, as he received a warm aloha from the crowd on hand. Woodland missed the fairway on the short par 4 but scrambled for par.

“I had gone four and a half months of every day really thinking I was going to die,” Woodland said on Tuesday ahead of his 2024 debut. “Every day it was a new way of dying, new way of death. The jolting in the middle of the night scared the heck out of me.”

MORE: The inspiring story of Gary Woodland’s return to golf

Before his surgery, Woodland competed in 24 Tour events in the 2023 season and earned six top-25 finishes, with two inside the top 10.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek