Broadcaster Rolfing survives cancer battle with help from world of golf

By Edgar Thompson
Published on

Mark Rolfing wakes up many days in Maui where the Kona winds, salt air and scenery form paradise.

When he is away from the island, Rolfing usually can be found around a golf course, analyzing a game that has afforded him a TV career, an audience with U.S. Presidents and relationships with golf royalty, including a decades-long friendship with Arnold Palmer.

It has been a blessed existence for Rolfing.

But last August, he lay in a hospital bed recovering from cancer surgery and watched CBS' Jim Nantz pay tribute to Rolfing as he fought for his life.

He dug in his heels even deeper that day.

"I just remember the tears rolling down my face still recovering from the surgery and thinking, 'I got to make it,'" Rolfing recalled. "I can't let all these people down now that have rallied around me. I have to do it for me, but I have to do it for them also."

Rolfing made it back.

Last Sunday at Bay Hill, golf's original on-course reporter walked 18 holes with the penultimate pairing of Henrik Stenson and Kevin Chappell. He appeared on Golf Channel's Morning Drive earlier to discuss the final round, Rolfing looking pretty much the same as he has all these years on NBC.

The differences are hidden.

Rolfing's lymph nodes have been removed and he sports a six-inch scar along his front waistline where a surgeon removed tissue to rebuild the left side of his face during surgery last August for Stage 4 salivary gland cancer.

This article was written by Edgar Thompson from The Orlando Sentinel and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.