Peter Oosterhuis On Early Onset Alzheimer’s Diagnosis: It’s Not ‘A Bad Break, At Least Not Yet’

Since July, British golfer Peter Oosterhuis has quietly coped with a devastating diagnosis — early onset Alzheimer’s.

But as far as he’s concerned, his life is far from over. Starting in December, Peter, 67, has undergone specialized treatment and will receive an experimental drug to hold the disease at bay, Golf.com reported.

“I don’t think of it as a bad break … at least not yet.”

Oosterhuis worked as a broadcaster for 20 years following his retirement, working for the Golf Channel, BBC, and CBS Sports. Before his contract expired last year, Peter parted ways with the network.

“Maybe in the course of my commentary, I wasn’t giving a lot of information like I used to. I would just talk about what’s on the screen. But I didn’t feel like I had those things ready in my mind to call on to make a point like I used to.”

Oosterhuis announced his departure from CBS in January. Around that time, Peter told a colleague, Jim Nantz, that he had Alzheimer’s. Nantz’s father battled the disease for 13 years before his death in 2008.

But Oosterhuis and his wife, Roothie, chose to keep the diagnosis a secret from everyone else until it was time to come forward, ABC News added. That time came last month at a Pebble Beach fundraiser for the Nantz National Alzheimer Center in Houston.

“It gave us a chance to say goodbye to everybody in a beautiful way, and it gave us the new focus of being part of Jim’s incredible effort. As human beings, it took awhile to come back to ourselves. But now, even though we don’t like the cards we were dealt, we are ready to play them. Because we are basically happy people, and we can still have happiness.”

According to the BBC, Peter Oosterhuis — known for his graceful swing — played on six winning Ryder Cup teams. He lead the European Tour Order of Merit for four seasons in the 70s, and won the European Tour seven times.

Oosterhuis’ diagnosis comes at a time when Alzheimer’s is back in the spotlight, thanks to a poignant and heart-breaking documentary revealing the struggle of another famous sufferer — Glen Campbell — and his family. I’ll Be Me aired this weekend on CNN.

[Photo Courtesy Dennis Oulds / Getty Images]