Bad Back Sidelines Moore

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Patrick Moore was hoping to end a 10-week absence and return to competition this week at the BMW Charity Pro-Am Classic. That plan has been scrubbed and it's unclear when the 2002 Nationwide Player of the Year will be ready to play again.

Moore has been diagnosed with a bulging disc between his fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae. His original symptom, which began in February, was pain in his left shoulder. Since then he has been rehabilitating the injury through rest and physical therapy. Moore intends to apply for a medical exemption for the 2004 PGA Tour season.
 
'I didn't hit a ball for more than a month and it got better pretty quickly early,' Moore said, 'but right now I've just gotten stuck. I can play 13 or 14 holes and then I just seem to get weak. The doctor said that when some muscles get pinched they atrophy pretty quickly. I'm still going to physical therapy trying to strengthen the affected muscles.'

Moore competed in the Sony Open in Hawaii, Phoenix Open and Bob Hope Chrysler Classic this year on the PGA Tour. He played a Monday pro-am at the Buick Invitational with pain in his shoulder, then accepted his Nationwide Tour Player of the Year trophy on Wednesday night. He had to withdraw the following day and has not played competitively since that time.
 
Moore now is hoping to continue to make progress and resume his schedule on the Nationwide Tour at Richmond or Raleigh next month in the first of perhaps five rehab starts allowed under the TOUR's medical exemption policy.
 
'I've got a lot more time on my hands than I thought I would this year,' said Moore, 'but that's fine. Hopefully I'll come back in better shape than I was at the start of the year and I'll have developed better practice habits, being more focused instead of beating balls for four or five hours every day. My time will come, it's just not going to be as soon as I thought.'