Harrington weighing surgery with eye on Birkdale


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Padraig Harrington’s pain in the neck is getting more troublesome the closer The Open gets.

Harrington can’t wait to return to Royal Birkdale, where he won the second of his three major championships.

With The Open five months away, Harrington will have some tough medical choices to make if his neck doesn’t heal up soon. He is struggling with a “trapped nerve” and recently had a cortisone injection.

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Harrington doesn’t want to have surgery, but if it becomes necessary ...

“I have to make that decision reasonably quickly for Birkdale,” said Harrington, who won the Honda Classic in 2005 and ’15. “They are talking up to 12 weeks without hitting a shot. So if I go and have it done, pretty much immediately, I'd be ready to go back playing just sometime in mid-June. So I'd be in good time for The Open.

“The only issue I have is if I delay surgery, thinking I'm getting better, and then I end up having to have surgery in May or something like that. That would be a disaster to miss out on Birkdale and miss out on the PGA, as well, during the summer.”