Hanson stays in touch as family hit by virus


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The Independent Online

The sight of the Swede Peter Hanson sending a series of text messages while walking down the fairways during yesterday's third round of the KLM Open in Holland would have had many golf traditionalists spluttering into their pink gins. However, the world's No 34 ranked golfer was trying to sort out a family dilemma which he fears could yet threaten him playing for Europe against the Americans in the Ryder Cup at Medinah in three week's time.

On Friday night Hanson, who finished in the ninth automatic qualifying spot for the 12-man European team, received a phone call from his wife in Orlando informing him that their 18-month-old son, Tim, had been rushed to hospital suffering from a life-threatening lung virus.

Hanson's immediate reaction was to book the first available flight home and quit the Dutch tournament, in which last night he was lying just one shot off the lead.

But when he spoke to the doctors caring for his baby Hanson was advised to stay in Holland and not risk catching the virus himself, which could jeopardise his second Ryder Cup appearance.

Explaining his decision to stay in Holland, Hanson said: "Tim has got an RS virus, which is dangerous when you are a kid. He has been ill for a couple of days and it goes down to the lungs. I spoke to the doctor and he said with the Ryder Cup coming up it might be possible I could also pick up the virus.

"So that's why we have Tim isolated in the Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital, because my wife is now ill and so too is our nanny.

"The doctors said that when they cough it could be just so easy for me to pick up the virus, and that's the last thing I need going to Medinah."

But Hanson was taking no chances of missing out on his son's illnesss out on the course while shooting a three-under-par 67. He sought permission from the Tour referee, Andy McFee, to be able to text his wife between making shots and later explained: "I have been on the phone all day."