What has happened to Jeff Overton?

Jeff Overton

Most of you will remember Jeff Overton as the "BOOM, BABY!" guy who played on the 2010 US Ryder Cup team at Celtic Manor.

Overton was the seventh of eight automatic qualifiers on the US Points List for the match and, along with captain’s pick Rickie Fowler, they became the first players in US Ryder Cup history to make the team without having won on the PGA Tour.

That didn’t faze Overton, who scored two points on debut. With two wins to his name, only Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker racked up more in the match as Europe edged out USA by a solitary point.

His appearance was perhaps more famous, though, for that reaction, see below, while partnering Bubba Watson in a match against Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez on Saturday.

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But, while team-mate Fowler has gone on to win four times on the PGA Tour, Overton remains winless. With career earnings of $12.7m, only Briny Baird ($13.2m) and Brian Davis ($13.3m) have racked up more on the tour without ever having achieved a victory.

The 35-year-old has played 293 PGA Tour events, with four runner-up finishes. Three of those came during the 2010 season, when he qualified for the Ryder Cup, while he also recorded two third-placed finishes that season as well as his best finish at a major – T11 at the Open Championship at St Andrews.

But after 2010, things began to head on a downward slide. He finished 90th or worse in the FedEx Cup in four of the next five seasons; with only 14 top ten finishes in 133 events from 2011 to 2015.

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In the 2016 season, he recorded just one top ten in 25 events to finish 160th in the FedEx Cup and lose his playing status on the PGA Tour after 11 consecutive seasons.

Since then, Overton has teed it up just once on tour – the Honda Classic in February 2017 – after suffering a ‘life-threatening’ infection while undergoing routine surgery on a herniated disc in his back.

On May 28, 2017 – Overton’s 34th birthday – his wife Christina took to Twitter to explain that her husband was on the road to recovery after spending a month in hospital.

“After taking several months off of competitive golf due to a herniated disc, Jeff underwent a minimally invasive procedure in hopes of improving the area," she wrote.

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“Through the procedure, he acquired a life-threatening infection in his spine, forcing him to have an emergency surgery.

“After a month in the hospital and acute rehab centre, many nights of excruciating pain and uncertainty, two months of IV antibiotics and home health care, we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.”

Thankfully, Overton has made a full recovery and, although he is yet to return to professional golf, speaking in December 2017 he said he hoped to come back at some point in late 2018.

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