After narrowly making the cut at the U.S. Women's Open on Friday, Danielle Kang revealed that she's played this week at Pine Needles with a tumor on her spine.
The world's No. 12 golfer opened with rounds of 71 and 74, leaving her on the right side of the 3-over cut line. After Friday's round, she confirmed her health status with reporters. Kang, 29, also noted that playing and making the cut this week was a priority.
“My goal right now is to get through this week,” Kang said. “I wanted to make the cut. I wanted to play four rounds out here and then my focus was going to be getting better after that. The only thing on my mind has been to play the U.S. Open."
Kang, who's been experiencing back pain, learned of her diagnosis “a few weeks ago” and has undergone multiple tests since. Her doctors don't know yet whether the tumor is benign or malignant. She plans to undergo more testing next week that will determine the next steps and whether she'll need to step away from golf.
“I’ve gone through a lot of procedures so far, and with the process of elimination we are narrowing it down,” Kang said. “It’s going to take time.”
Kang didn't intend to discuss the tumor in public this week, but addressed the subject after her brother Alex Kang revealed her diagnosis on Thursday in an Instagram post wishing her well at the USWO.
"Only person I know to be playing with a tumor in her spine," Alex wrote.
Kang's father died after battles with brain and lung cancer in 2013.
Kang turned pro in 2011 and has recorded six LPGA tours win, including the 2017 Women's PGA Championship. She'll start third-round play on Saturday at Pine Needles at T59.