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LPGA family honors courageous Jane Park, w

LPGA family honors courageous Jane Park, w

NAPLES, Fla. – On the flight down to South Florida last week, Jane Park looked over at her 3-year-old daughter Grace sitting independently in her adaptive seating device and wiped away happy tears. The idea of Grace sitting on her own on an airplane once seemed impossible.

Park, 36, said she lives each day now as if she’s trying to stretch the last few moments of daylight out of an evening nine. Instead of playing a couple extra holes, she’s stretching out the snuggles for an extra 15 minutes before putting Grace to bed.

Park flew with her family down to Naples, Florida, to receive this year’s Heather Farr Perseverance Award at the CME Group Tour Championship. An LPGA official told her it was a unanimous vote.

Nearly two and a half years ago, after missing the cut at the Volunteers of America Classic in Texas, Park and her family found themselves living out a nightmare in a Dallas hospital as a litany of seizures and brain swelling attacked their once-healthy 10-month-old, leaving her permanently disabled.

Park’s 15-year career on the LPGA ended overnight. She became a full-time caretaker and advocate for Grace, who was diagnosed with refractory epilepsy, which means that medicine can’t stop her seizures.

Park climbed into the grandstand behind the ninth green at Tiburon Golf Club to talk about her journey while her sister-in-law looked after Grace near the bottom of the stairs.

“I think this type of trauma just changes your DNA,” she said, “really changes who you are as a person, how you view things in life. But I think the biggest thing I have received from this whole experience … as cliché as it sounds, I really do not take a single day for granted with her.”

Jane Park of the United States and her husband, Pete Godfrey, pose for a photo on the green carpet with their daughter, Grace, prior to the 2023 LPGA Rolex Players Awards at Tiburon Golf Club on November 16, 2023, in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Around a dozen years ago, Park met caddie Pete Godfrey at one of Cristie Kerr’s charity pro-ams. The couple wed five years ago. Like any parent who travels for work, Godfrey misses his kid like crazy when he’s gone. He currently caddies for Hye-Jin Choi, a promising young player from South Korea.

Godfrey’s sister, Helen, quit her job in the U.K. to come help the family and what started out as a six-month assist will more than likely be up to 18 months by the time she goes home. Park’s aunts…


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