As evidenced by the shamrock tattoo on the right side of his neck, Brian Morris has the Celtics infused into his being. The seahorse tattoo on the left side of his neck signifies the 53-year-old professional golfer’s home, Bermuda.
The faint scar on the back of his neck points to a far grimmer reality, for that is where doctors at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute removed an inoperable tumor. He was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer on Christmas Eve 2019.
“That was a nice present, huh?” Morris said prior to Monday’s game between the Celtics and Bucks, sitting in the media dining room with his wife, Laurie, and Jeff Twiss, the Celtics’ vice president of media services. “It was a month after I started this new treatment. Thank God for the doctors at Dana-Farber.”
Morris, the club pro at Bermuda’s Ocean View Golf Course, has been receiving treatments at Dana-Farber since his diagnosis two years ago, and is scheduled to meet with doctors on Friday to see if the new treatment is working after 33 rounds of chemotherapy. Morris has attended Celtics games for years, at least since Game 7 of the Celtics’ win over Philadelphia in the 2012 conference semifinals.
That’s when he decided to get the shamrock tattoo. The green ink work was prominently displayed on the biggest two days of his life in late October, when, two years after his terminal diagnosis, this humble club pro played in his first PGA event on a sponsor exemption in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.
Steve Bulpett, the Herald’s longtime NBA columnist and Celtics beat reporter, somehow spotted the tattoo, and promptly emailed Morris’ club with the intent of inviting the golfer to a Celtics game. Bulpett put Morris in touch with Twiss, who on Monday night greeted Morris with a left-handed Celtics putter and three monogrammed golf balls.
But Morris has been floating for months now. Though he didn’t make the cut, the entire island turned out for him.
“You know what? I must have had four or five hundred people just in my group,” he said. “When I was on the first green and looked down the fairway, I saw a sea of pink. Pink shirts. It was pretty impressive, really cool. People from all walks of life. The first round was on breast cancer awareness day.”