Heather MacRae showed “phenomenal spirit” to return to competitive golf a few months after undergoing surgery for cervical cancer.
This week’s Scottish PGA Championship at Downfield is MacRae’s first solo outing since returing to action, having been “amazed” how she felt when playing in the Golfbreaks.com PGA Fourball Championship at Farleigh last week.
Her partner in that event was Craig Lee and the former European Tour player says MacRae has been an inspirational figure since she was diagnosed in March and then underwent surgery in mid-June.
“There were very times when you would never have known she was having such serious health issues,” he commeted. “She had an infection after her operation and ended up back in hospital but, apart from that, her spirit has been phenomenal.
“That is obviously a sign of how she tackles golf as well. She doesn’t think too much about the negative stuff. She just thinks, ‘how do I get better, how do I move forward’, and it really is remarkable.
“She has been definitely been a huge inspiration to lots of people over the past few months. Anyone who has been close to her has seen how positive she has been and she has still been courteous to others. Never once have I heard her say, ‘why me?'”
MacRae’s win in the Women’s PGA Championship earlier in the season secured her spot on the Great Britain and Ireland team for the inaugural Women’s PGA Cup in Texas in October.
“That was one of her main goals this season and I think it gave her something to focus on when she was going through her troubles,” said Lee, who is playing in the men’s equivalent for the first time, also in the Lone Star State, later this month.
“To win the Women’s PGA Championship to get into the team was a great achievement and she will get her game sorted for the end of October, when I am sure she will be in great form.”
MacRae, who opened with a two-over-par 75 at Downfield, where she worked with the Scottish team at the Women’s Home Internationals last month, is delighted to be back playing again.
“I have 100 per cent thrown myself back Into work since I felt fit enough and working for myself now – Heather MacRae Golf – gives me the flexibility to coach at several locations, while still being able to play a little and do a few other golf days/events etc,” she said.
“I am really enjoying coaching so many girls and introducing more people to the game while still having a strong appetite to compete.”