GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — This weekend, East Kentwood alum Brett White will achieve his dream and make his debut on the PGA Tour.

“Man, I’m going to chase (this dream) until I go broke,” White said. “I’ve been broke and dug myself out of a hole.”

White has been a professional golfer for six years, last year playing in the Korn Ferry Tour. On Monday, he shot a 66 in the qualifier for the Waste Management Phoenix Open and earned a spot in his first PGA Tour event.

“I’ve prepared all my life to play at a high level, to play on the PGA Tour,” White said.

He said it probably won’t hit him until he gets to the famed 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale.

“I don’t know if you can ever prepare for No. 16, the party and how loud it’s going to be. It’ll probably hit me then, and I’ll go, ‘Holy crap,'” he said.

In 2017, White had a serious health scare. Viral encephalitis nearly killed him.

“It was starting to attack my brain. My brain swelled up,” he said. “i was atoxic. i lost a lot of my equilibrium. It was an extremely strange experience.”

He couldn’t walk and had to undergo vigorous therapy at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids.

“I had to learn everything twice,” he said. “I had to remember left leg forward, right leg swing. It was that rudimentary. It was more about connecting the neurons.”

He also had to relearn how to swing a golf club. But he was motivated to play again and that pushed him through the toughest times.

“When I was sick and in Mary Free Bed, I didn’t know if I could get to a level where I could compete again, but I knew I wanted to play. I had to. It was part of my therapy. It got me walking,” he said. “I love this game.”