Harrington wrist survive Rd 1

By Associated PressJuly 17, 2008, 4:00 pm
Follow the 137th Open Championship all week on GOLF CHANNEL. Click for our TV schedule!
Open ChampionshipSOUTHPORT, England -- Nursing an injured right wrist, Padraig Harrington woke up Thursday wondering whether it might be too painful to swing a golf club, let alone make a strong defense of his British Open title.
When he walked off the 18th green after surviving the battering wind and rain at Royal Birkdale, the Irishman was convinced that even a bogey-bogey finish for a 4-over 74 in the opening round put him in contention again.
The finish tainted it a bit, but I have to focus on the positives, Harrington said. There are 54 holes to go and the wrist should get better.
Harrington won his first major a year ago by beating Sergio Garcia in a playoff at Carnoustie. He hasnt won a tournament since, but had been optimistic he could repeat before hurting his wrist in a practice round on Saturday.
I was getting up this morning not knowing what swinging a golf club could be like, he said. I was convinced, though, that if there was only a small or reasonable amount of pain, I couldnt do any more damage, that I was going to try and figure a way of playing and ignoring it. I was convinced I was going to give it a go anyway.
I had about three or four shots on the range when it twinged. I had taken some anti-inflammatories and painkillers and I expected to have a few more twinges on the golf course.
Harrington knew he needed to stay out of the long, snagging, rain-soaked rough that has made an already demanding links course even more difficult.
Then he found it with his first tee shot, a 3-iron that sailed out to the right.
I was apprehensive about hitting out of the rough and thats what I managed to do in the first four of five holes, said Harrington, who was 2-over after four.
He responded with 5-foot birdie putt at the 346-yard fifth and, with little additional pain coming from the wrist, Harringtons confidence began to build.
You do need to have the odd thing going in your favor, he said. I hit it really close to make birdie. Plenty of guys hit good shots today and theyve gone 10 yards past or 10 yards short and they wont make birdie off that.
He managed to get to the turn at 1-over, before bogeying the par-4 11th and dropping shots at the last two holes after again finding the rough.
At least the gusting wind and driving rain took his mind off the injured wrist.
The tougher weather helped in that sense that, as bad it was out there, you could only focus on your next shot, getting your grip dry, he said. There was very little time to be distracted out there and that was a good thing for my wrist.
Despite the conditions, Harrington said he would gladly go through the round again.
That round of golf is like playing two or three rounds of golf. But I definitely wouldnt mind another go at that round, he said. If you guys told me we all had to tee it up again tomorrow in the same conditions, Id look forward to that test. But maybe not another three of them.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Open Championship
  • Full Coverage - Open Championship
  • Getty Images

    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Getty Images

    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.