England’s John E Morgan, the epileptic golfer who befriended Tiger Woods and caught the imagination of the American golfing public, will write another chapter in his unbelievable career at this week’s A.G.F. Allianz Golf Open de Toulouse on the European Challenge Tour.
Morgan won the 2002 Challenge Tour Championship to secure a place on The 2003 European Tour, but instead of taking his place on Tour with the 14 other Challenge Tour graduates, he went to America and won a place on the richest circuit in the world at the US PGA Tour Qualifying School.
Not one to be backwards about coming forwards, Morgan soon befriended Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk to name but a few, and captivated the American golfing public with some mesmerising performances, not to mention his electric blue hair.
The Englishman looked to have cracked America with after his rousing second place finish at the 2004 John Deere Classic, where lost in a sudden-death play-off to Australian Mark Hensby, but it was all taken away from him on one fateful plane journey as a violent epileptic seizure left him with a ruptured sternum and shattered ribs.
Morgan made a brief comeback last year, but he was once more struck down by a series of seizures this past winter, which have forced him to start over again.
“It’s been a bit of a nightmare for me health-wise over the last few months,” said Morgan.
“I’ve had seven seizures in the past couple of months, but the more it happens to me the more determined I become to get back to where I was, and get better than I was.
“This thing is not going to hold me back – I have been up there at the highest level and played better than so many top players. I want to get chasing Tiger down the stretch one day because I know I can do it. I want it all back again.
“It’s been a hell of a career so far – a serious mental and physical roller coaster that went boom and ended up with a big bang!
“But I am just delighted to be back playing and to be given the chance to show that I can still play this game because I love it.”
Morgan will be joined at the Golf de Toulouse-Seilh by three of the seven Challenge Tour champions from the 2007 Schedule, namely Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland, Argentina’s Miguel Rodriguez and Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti.
There will also be a huge French presence competing for the A.G. F. Allianz Golf Open de Toulouse title, including 2006 British Amateur Champion Julien Guerrier, who is making his second appearance on the Challenge Tour since competing at the 2007 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.