Pro who quit to live in jungle to make tour return

Morgan Hoffmann

A tour star who left to live in the Costa Rican jungle after being diagnosed with a rare condition will play in this week’s RBC Heritage.

Morgan Hoffmann was told he had muscular dystrophy in 2016 and went public with his diagnosis a year later.

The condition primarily affected Hoffmann’s upper body and led to a drop of more than 10mph in his swing speed.

In his own words he was “failed” by doctors – but then found cases of people who had halted or even reversed symptoms through drastic diet changes.

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Hoffmann went all out, quitting the PGA Tour in 2019 to live high in the mountains in the jungle in Costa Rica and eschewing all animal products, living on a diet where nothing is processed or even cooked.

However, the 32-year-old has three starts remaining on a medical exemption and will peg it up alongside five of the world’s top 10 players this week.

“Being this close to it, it's tough to kind of step out sometimes and really see what's happened, where I've been, what I've been through,” he said.

“But at this moment I'm trying to take a minute and look out from the outside defender's perspective and, yeah, it's, on paper it's definitely interesting, it's a crazy story, for sure.

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“I think that any athlete in this position or anybody with a drive for health would do something similar as well and I don't think I'm special in any way, I think I have been put in this motion for a reason and I just want to help people believe in themselves and get through really anything that they're going through.

“Everyone has something that they're going through that most people probably don't know about. I made a decision to make it public and just because I had a platform that was capable of making a big difference and I hope that that happens.”

Hoffmann insisted his game feels good – but what are his hopes for the week?

“Some smiles. Some golf on a beautiful course. That's really about it,” he said.

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“I've been practicing hard and my game actually feels pretty solid. I have a great caddie on the bag this week and my clubs are dialled in, so I feel good. I don't really know.

“Obviously you come to tournaments to win and I've never done that before, so might as well shoot for the stars, right?”

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