July 8, 2009

Cancer Claims Father of Tour Player Jonathan Byrd

PGA Tour player Jonathan Byrd suffered a tragic loss Monday night with the passing of his father. Jim Byrd was 65.

The State: Cancer Claims Father of PGA's Byrd:

"There were many constants in Jim Byrd’s life — his family, his faith, his love of golf — but when it came to sports allegiances, you would have to call the father of PGA Tour player Jonathan Byrd and Clemson assistant golf coach Jordan Byrd ... well, conflicted.

"Byrd, who died Monday night at 65 after a nearly two-year battle with brain cancer, was born and raised a North Carolina Tar Heel, playing freshman baseball and varsity football at UNC from 1965-67. But both sons wound up Clemson Tigers, and Byrd loved them and their sports careers more than life itself.

"So he learned to compromise — while never compromising his sense of humor.

"Al Adams, insurance agent and public-address announcer for Clemson football, discovered that in 1999, when he and the Byrds were on a Clemson-sponsored golf trip to Ireland.

“On the bus to the hotel, we were sitting across the aisle when I discovered he was a North Carolina grad,” Adams said. “I said, ‘You mean I’ve got eight days of listening to Tar Heel stuff?’

“Jim gave it back as good as he got. Once we were watching the ACC (basketball) tournament at his house, and he said, ‘Are you pulling for Carolina?’ I said of course not, and he laughed and said, ‘I just wanted to be sure.’

“He loved his Heels, but also his boys.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Byrd family.

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