Colbert Plays Sunday, Then Has Cancer Surgery Monday

From Associated Press

Less than six months after he sat stunned as Arnold Palmer revealed he had prostate cancer, two-time Senior PGA Tour player of the year Jim Colbert had successful surgery Monday on his cancerous prostate.

Colbert, 56, had finished 17th Sunday in a tournament at Alpharetta, Ga., and flown to La Jolla, where he was operated on at Scripps Hospital, PGA Tour spokesman David Lancer said.

“Everything went well and the cancer appears to be localized,” said Lancer, who spoke with people in Colbert’s office.


Lancer said there is no timetable for Colbert’s return to competition.

“But when Arnold Palmer had similar surgery he was told to rest for 42 days and that’s exactly how long he rested,” Lancer said.

Colbert was at the PGA Tour awards dinner at La Costa to receive his second consecutive Senior PGA Tour player of the year honor in January when Palmer found out he had prostate cancer.

He spoke in shocked disbelief on learning Palmer was ill, admiring Palmer’s determination in facing cancer. Colbert apparently faced his own illness with similar optimism.

“I spoke to Jim yesterday and he was upbeat,” PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said Monday. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim and his family for his complete recovery.”

Colbert, a New Jersey native who lives in Las Vegas, won eight times over a 15-year span on the PGA Tour. He has won 18 senior events since 1991, including four in 1995 and five last year.

He has yet to win this year, but is eighth on the money list with $468,842 in winnings.

Palmer had surgery for prostate cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in January and has since returned to play in several senior and regular tour events.