Matthew Southgate wouldn't be a name recognizable by even the biggest golf fan. The 27-year-old Challenge Tour player is ranked 964th in the world -- with a few top-10 finishes to his name since 2011 on the European Tour and the developmental circuit. But his recent accomplishment will no doubt earn him some new followers.
After being diagnosed in July with testicular cancer, the Englishman managed to earn his European Tour card this week through European Tour Qualifying School at Spain's PGA Catalunya Resort. Southgate finished sixth out of more than 150 pros in the six-round marathon event, and joins Australia's Jarrod Lyle in making it back to the highest levels of golf after receiving a cancer diagnosis.
"I feel like I’ve had to hack it out sideways and start again... And somehow I've managed to get it back on track," he told the European Tour after the round.
"It's been a really tough year for me and my family. It would mean the world to make it through."
On top of Southgate being diagnosed with cancer, his 2-year-old niece Hattie Seymour is battling leukemia. Here's a photo the European Tour shared of Hattie with her Uncle Matthew.
Southgate had made his way through European Tour Q school in the past -- this will be his third season on the European Tour. But undoubtedly, this is the sweetest breakthrough of his career. Bravo, Matthew.