It was an exciting end to the second-annual Galleri Classic Presented by Spotlight 29 held in March at Mission Hills Country Club. World Golf Hall of Famer and two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen was tied with Charles Schwab Cup money leader Steven Alker at 17-under-par through 17 holes. On No. 18, both hit wedges to the green as their fourth shot, leaving each with a par putt to advance to a playoff  – or to win – the tournament. Goosen sank his eight-foot putt, while Alker missed, resulting in a one-stroke triumph. Goosen’s victory catapulted him 33 spots to No. 7 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. 

This year’s tournament once again brought fan favorites to our valley, including Ernie Els, Mike Weir, Jim Furyk, Rocco Mediate, Steve Stricker and others who weathered cloudy skies and rain alongside many faithful fans.

Beyond golf, there were new activities to enjoy including the pop-up casino from presenting sponsor Spotlight 29 Casino and the putt-putt course for enthusiasts of all ages.

But one of the most important parts of the tournament was GRAIL’s on-site mobile phlebotomy unit providing information and administration of the Galleri multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test. Medical professionals were on site to assist qualifying consumers interested in this simple blood test which can identify over 50 types of cancer and where that cancer may be located in the body.

I took the test a few weeks prior at The Galleri Classic media day, and while Goosen was celebrating his third PGA TOUR Champions title, I was celebrating my own victory as test results showed no signs of cancer detected.

Why did I take the test? As a cancer survivor, the question of whether cancer has returned is often in the back of your mind. Each year you anticipate your annual follow-up and hope for the best. My breast cancer was treated at City of Hope, and this July will be my five-year screening – the big one they say; if you make it to five, your chances of reoccurrence decrease.

For me, the Galleri test adds a second layer of reassurance that “all is ok.” The fact that we now have another screening option available via MCED testing alleviates the one year wait time and is another tool for proactive health care. It is not intended to replace regular screenings, but to compliment them, as it can also screen for cancers for which there are currently no screening standards. 

I was due to schedule my July visit to City of Hope for a mammogram, ultrasound and doctor’s appointment. My negative Galleri results helped relieve the angst that usually accompanies that call and the four months preceding my visit. If my Galleri test had been positive, I would have shared the news with my doctors and requested an earlier appointment for further investigation. Now, I can comfortably wait until July.

Goosen reigned victorious at this year’s Galleri Classic, but so did I, thanks to the peace of mind provided from taking the Galleri test.

The Galleri Classic Presented by Spotlight 29 Casino will return to Mission Hills Country Club March 24-30, 2025. For more information visit To learn more about the Galleri test, visit

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