Scott Simpson practices golf with Ranken Jordan patients

9:48 PM, May 21, 2013   |    comments
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By Art Holliday

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) - In golf, major championships are a big deal and so are the practice sessions leading up to them.

On Tuesday, golfers continued their practice rounds at Bellerive, perfecting their swings for the Senior PGA Championship.

Veteran golfer Scott Simpson is in the field for the Senior PGA Championship. NewsChannel 5's Art Holliday asked him about giving back, the thrill of winning a major, and the special week living the dream when he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

"It's cool, yeah it's Sports Illustrated, it's a pretty neat thing. I could have done the swimsuit issue but for some reason they waited until I won a golf tournament," said Simpson.

Back in 1987, Simpson was the U.S. Open Champion. This week he's in St. Louis for the Senior PGA Championship.

"It's a major. It's the big one. I think everyone gets more excited about it, you practice harder," said Simpson.

But instead of practicing at Bellerive for a major, he was at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Hospital with patients like Alex Jacob.

"I broke the bone in my neck, broke both my legs and both my arms and I'm doing a lot better now," said Jacob.

Playing indoor golf takes Jacob's mind off the car that hit him on March 29.

"I'm more concentrated on getting the ball in the net than concentrating on my injuries," he said.

Ranken Jordan doesn't feel like a regular hospital and that's the point. Their golf program is one year old.

"We have had a golf program here at the hospital for over a year now that Kevin Korn, of Gateway PGA started for us and it really helps kids in their therapy," said President and CEO of Ranken Jorday Laureen Tanner.

"I told my wife, how do you say no to that? How do you say no to a guy who's willing to invest his life and his talents with these kids that are trying to get better?" said Simpson.

Simpson said yes, and thanks to a few minutes of indoor golf, the hospital didn't seem like such a bad place.

"It's just a great privilege. So I'm pretty thankful I'm being able to be here," said Simpson.

Earlier, Simpson joked about the Sports Illustrated cover. But that 1987 U.S. Open championship was the only major victory of his career, and he says dueling with Tom Watson for a one shot victory was a thrill.

He'd like to duplicate that win at the Senior PGA. He'll have some Ranken Jordan patients rooting for him.



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