Interview: Benn Barham on his fight with kidney cancer

James Tompkinson talks to former Tour star Benn Barham about recovering from kidney cancer

You’ve had a tough last few years, so it must be nice to be back out on the course again?
It was a bit of a shock when I was given the diagnosis, so from that point on I had to make a plan to get back on the golf course as soon as I could. There was no guarantee that I was going to be able to so it’s nice to play, and I try to keep that in mind when I’m not playing well.

Where is your golf now and how close do you feel to getting it back to the level you were at on tour?
You never know how you’re going to come back but I don’t feel like I’m too far away from where I was. It would be quite a big step for me to get back to the ranking that I was on the main tour. It wouldn’t be miles apart from how I’m playing at the moment but to go to Tour School and get my card would take a lot.

How do you see your career developing in the next couple of years?
My priority first and foremost is to spend more time with my family and watch my children grow up. That was the main reason for not chasing around Europe playing the Challenge Tour. I’m not going for my card this year. I’ve not ruled out trying to get my card again from Tour School though.

Are events such as the PGA Cup a welcome release after what you’ve been through?
For me to get into that zone now, an event really has to mean something. I guess considering everything I’ve been through, I just can’t get into that zone very easily. But in my PGA Cup singles match, I was in the zone and nobody was going to beat me.

You’ve played many events on the European Tour, so where did the PGA Cup rank in terms of your golfing highlights?
It was definitely one of the highlights of my career so far. As a professional you don’t get too opportunity to play team golf and the camaraderie during the week was fantastic.

Has your recovery from cancer impacted on your life in a more general sense?
There are two people I know who’ve had similar health issues and I think they’ve found it nice to speak to someone who went through what they are feeling.


Benn Barham starred for GB&I against the USA in the PGA Cup at De Vere Slaley Hall. He won two points as GB&I overturned a five-point deficit on the final day to draw the match 13-13. The US had won 12 of the previous 13 matches.

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