September 14, 2004
For a guy that earned All America honors his sophomore year at Valdosta State, B.J. Szafran has got some pretty modest goals this week as he tees it up in the Langdale Ford Championship at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta.
"I just hope to hit each shot and focus and hit it like I've been practicing and work on the things I've been working on,"Szafran said.
It's the first Hooters Tour event of the season for the Lowndes High grad who looks forward to playing in front of family and friends this week. "I love Valdosta, it's a great town. A lot of good things have happened for me here."
But B.J.'s road back to his hometown was longer than he had anticipated. After finishing his playing days at Ole Miss, Szafran was near the top of his game. Everything seemed to be going great, but then..."I got to a point where when I got done with nine holes riding in a golf cart I was physically exhausted like I had just run a marathon or something," Szafran explained. He didn't know it at the time, but B.J. had chronic fatigue syndrome.
"If you run for a long time or if you work out for a long time or if you do something for a long time your muscles feel like they're burning or you get tired. You just feel like you can't do anymore, that's kind of how it is. You just kind of feel drained," Szafran added.
And although there is no known cure, Szafran came up with his own remedy. He took a break. And after eight months of rest and relaxation, he's back on the course.
"I'm not a hundred percent but I feel like I'm getting towards that hundred percent mark and I'm working out more and am able to walk 18 holes carrying my bag."
And although he doesn't expect a victory this week Szafran hopes he can find the game that he worked so hard to build in the city that is widely known for producing winners.
"Valdosta is near and dear to my hear and I know there's going to be some friends and family out here to support me and that's going to mean a lot and if I did more, that would even mean more," Szafran said.
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