Sidelines with John Clay

Star UK golfer Cullan Brown diagnosed with cancer, will miss season

Cullan Brown, an up-and-coming star on the University of Kentucky golf team, has been diagnosed with cancer and will miss the 2019-20 season, the school announced Sunday.

A sophomore from Eddyville, Brown has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in his left thigh. His treatment will require chemotherapy and surgery, which will force him to sit out the season as he focuses on his recovery.

“My family and I are immensely appreciative of the outpouring of kind words, well-wishes, love and prayers we have received in the last few weeks from family, friends and the Big Blue Nation,” Brown said in UK’s release. “It certainly will be a tough year, but nothing that can’t be handled thanks to the amazing support group I have behind me at all times.”

Brown was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team after posting a 72.42 stroke average over eight events last season. He had missed the fall season after having surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand. I spoke to the engaging Brown and wrote about his comeback in advance of his participation in the PGA’s Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville as an amateur in July.

Brown finished tied for 53rd in the event with a 10-under par for the tournament. He shot 72, 68, 67 and 71 over the four days at Keene Trace.

“Our hearts are hurting for Cullan and his family,” UK head coach Brian Craig said in UK’s release. “I honestly do not believe God has ever created a young man as unique and special as Cullan. His love for people and his giftedness are extraordinary. We, as a team, could not love him any more than we do and we will stand with him through this challenge with fervent loyalty, support and prayer.”

Members of the UK men’s golf team will use the hashtag #B4B this season to honor Brown. It stands for “Birdies for Brownie.”

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

John Clay is a sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader. A native of Central Kentucky, he covered UK football from 1987 until being named sports columnist in 2000. He has covered 20 Final Fours and 37 consecutive Kentucky Derbys.
Support my work with a digital subscription