Video: Matthew Southgate's emotional journey is the Irish Open's real heartwarming story
Published 22/05/2016 | 20:58
England's Matthew Southgate is not a name most golf fans will be familiar with but he produced one of the most heartwarming sport stories of 2016 so far at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
Southgate, who regained his European Tour card via the qualifying school after undergoing treatment for testicular cancer last year, carded a closing 68 to finish fourth four shots behind tournament winner Rory McIlroy, the best result of his career.
His biggest cheque on tour to date has been only €28,000.
"It's been absolutely incredible," Southgate said.
"I wasn't even in the tournament Monday night. I was still first reserve and when I got the phone call I thought, right, this is a big opportunity.
"Something like this has been coming and I've been working really, really hard at it. I just stuck with my guns, done the stuff I've been working on in practice and it's all paid off."
His top five finish this week also qualifies the Englishman for the BMW PGA Championship next week. It's one of the European Tour's main events.
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.
Matthew Southgate, 27, of England, with niece Hattie Seymour. Both uncle and niece are overcoming cancer