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‘97 finish has Forsman eager for ’98

SHARE ‘97 finish has Forsman eager for ’98

Usually at this time of year, Dan Forsman is burned out, ready to do just about anything but play golf. He's happy to be home to spend time with his wife and two children and forget about the sport for a while.

Not this year. Sure, the 39-year-old Forsman is delighted to be back home in Provo with his family, but he's also looking forward to the next season more than he has in several years.After returning from the Kapalua International tournament in Hawaii earlier this week, Forsman called the PGA Tour headquarters to get a schedule for the upcoming year.

"That's a good sign for me," he said. "Usually I've had such a frustrating year I don't want to think about it. But this year I feel different."

Forsman finished the year with a second-place finish at the Walt Disney World Classic in mid-October to end up 56th on the PGA Tour money list with $443,034. That's a big improvement over the past three years, when he finished 112th, 93rd and 123rd. He finished in a tie for 22nd in the unofficial tournament at Maui, where he took his family for a vacation in addition to the golf.

Forsman's three tough years came on the heels of one of his greatest golf weeks, when he nearly won the 1993 Masters. But it was soon thereafter that Forsman started suffering from a form of epilepsy in which he would get unexpected seizures during his sleep. It affected his health and his golf game suffered.

"It feels like every joint in my body has been dislocated, " he said of the seizures, which affect him for days afterward. "It just numbs you."

The most recent seizure came last March, soon after the Bay Bay Hill Invitational - a tournament he won in 1986. He had to go back on medication and missed the cut in every tournament he played during the five weeks that followed.

Gradually, however, things started to get better, capped by the strong finish at the Disney tournament, where he tied for first but lost in a sudden-death playoff. The ex-Arizona State golfer said he was inspired by a motivational tape he listened to earlier this year, which said to "do all that you can do . . . and a little bit more."

Forsman has done a little bit more and spent extra time on the practice range, "trying to keep the passion alive."

In recent years, Forsman has just wanted to play well and stay competitive. But he's setting higher goals for 1998.

"I want to play well enough to win a tournament. That's my goal for next year."

Forsman said he will play in two more tournaments this year, both non-PGA Tour events - the Pebble Beach Invitational and the Mixed Team Tournament in Florida with members of the LPGA Tour. Otherwise, he'll just be a dad to his two sons and try to sneak in a little practice time at Riverside Country Club, weather permitting.

His first event next year will be the Bob Hope tournament in early January, and he plans to play between 25 and 30 tournaments, as he has in the past.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Forsman file

Age: 39 Residence: Provo

College: Arizona State (1980)

PGA career earnings: $3,653,382

1997 earnings: $443,034

PGA Tour victories: 4 (most recent - 1992 Buick Open)

Family: Wife, Trudy; sons Ricky, 12, and Thomas, 7