Danielle Kang Playing 2022 U.S. Women's Open with Tumor on Spine

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 3, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 21: Danielle Kang of the United States tees off the fifth hole during the first round of the DIO Implant LA Open at Wilshire Country Club on April 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Michael Owens/Getty Images

Danielle Kang said Friday that she is playing in the U.S. Women's Open with a tumor on her spine.

According to GolfChannel.com's Amy Rogers, Kang said: "My goal is to play this week. I didn't want to miss it. I'm really happy that I'm here. It's been a difficult road, but I'm pretty stoked that I'm able to hit certain shots, and I feel like my game is a little bit there."

Kang added that she plans to undergo additional tests to determine if the tumor is malignant or benign.

The 29-year-old San Francisco native shot a first-round 71 and second-round 74 at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina, putting her at three over for the tournament.

As of early Friday evening, Kang was just at the projected cut line of three-over par.

Per Rogers, Kang hadn't planned to address her health during the tournament, but she did so after her brother, Alex, posted on Instagram that Kang was the "only person I know to be playing with a tumor in her spine."

Kang called being pain-free her "No. 1 priority" and noted that she isn't sure when she will be back on the LPGA Tour, noting that it could be in a week or months down the line.

Since turning pro in 2011, Kang has won six LPGA tournaments, including the 2017 Women's PGA Championship, which is her only major title to date.

She also finished fourth at the 2018 U.S. Women's Open and sixth at the 2019 ANA Inspiration.

Kang's most recent victory came in January when she beat Brooke Henderson by three strokes in the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

Notably, Kang won the 2020 LPGA Vare Trophy, which is given annually to the golfer with the lowest scoring average on tour.

Additionally, Kang represented Team USA in the Solheim Cup in 2017, 2019 and 2021, winning in 2017 and losing narrowly in both 2019 and 2021.