Harrington suffering from wrist injury

By Associated PressJuly 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
Follow the 137th Open Championship all week on GOLF CHANNEL. Click for our TV schedule!
 
Open ChampionshipSOUTHPORT, England -- First, Tiger Woods. Now, Padraig Harrington?
 
The defending British Open champion is plagued by a sore right wrist, which forced him to cut back a practice round Tuesday and raised doubts about whether he will be able to tee it up in the tournament.
 
Harrington insisted hell be ready on Thursday'with one caveat.
 
Obviously I have to manage it between now and then, the Irishman said after scaling back to chipping and putting over the final nine holes of his practice session. Ive got to make sure I dont do anything to it. If I do nothing to it between now and Thursday, Ill be able to play.
 
The Open can sorely afford to lose another top player. Woods, a three-time British champion and the worlds No. 1 player, is sitting out the rest of the year to recover from knee surgery. Another leading American, Kenny Perry, decided to skip the tournament despite winning three of his last five events on the PGA Tour.
 
Despite taking a couple of days off, Harrington was clearly not at full strength during his first practice round of the week at Royal Birkdale. He played the front side but made sure to avoid hitting any shots out of the thick rough. At the turn, he was checked by a doctor and decided to just work around the green over the final nine holes.
 
Asked how his wrist felt, Harrington said, Fuzzy. Tingly. I was weak in the wrist, and thats why I didnt play the back nine.
 
He did walk the rest of the way with a group that included Woody Austin, Stephen Ames and Damien McGrane. Harrington merely watched on tee shots and irons from the fairway, then joined in after they got close to the flag. His caddie, Ronan Flood, ditched the bag and tailed along with a half-dozen wedges and a putter draped over his shoulder.
 
I dont want to aggravate it anymore, Harrington said.
 
He sprained the wrist Saturday while swinging into an impact bag, a sort of punching bag golfers use to strengthen that very crucial part of their bodies. He skipped two days of practice and got treatment, then decided to test it out on the course.
 
While Harrington failed to make it through all 18 holes, hes not considering the possibility of dropping out.
 
Not at the moment, no, he said. Unless I injured it again. I cant see that happening. As long as I avoid doing that, Ill be OK.
 
Even if Harrington does play, hell hardly be in top form. He intends to be back on the course Wednesday, but isnt sure if hell be able to play more than nine holes, which means he might go into the tournament without getting in a full practice round this week.
 
No matter what, he wont be doing any work from the tall grass until it counts. Harrington said the next shot he hits from the rough will be in the tournament because he doesnt want to put any extra stress on his wrist.
 
The injury will surely make the job of defending the claret jug a little tougher. But nothing can take away from Harringtons memorable win a year ago at Carnoustie, where he hit two balls into the Barry Burn on the last hole of regulation but bounced back to beat Sergio Garcia in a four-hole playoff.
 
Garcia was on the cusp of victory, then watched in agony as a 10-foot par putt at No. 18 slid by edge of the hole. It was all Harrington in the playoff, allowing him to escape any comparisons to Jean Van de Velde, the Frenchman who brazenly gave away the 1999 British Open on the very same course with a triple-bogey at the 72nd hole.
 
Instead, it was Garcia who took all the grief for again failing to capture his first major championship when it was right in his grasp.
 
I would be aware myself of the twin impostors of success and failure, how similar they are, Harrington said. Over the years, Ive done some great things and looked like Ive lost tournaments, and Ive won tournaments where I struggled home and won it.
 
To be very honest, theres not much difference.
 
Harrington turned in the claret jug Tuesday morning after having possession of it for the past year. He hopes to get it back someday, though not in the current packaging provided by the R&A.
 
I did point out that I could do with a smaller box so you could travel with it better on airplanes, Harrington said at a news conference before he went out on the course. You cant take the current one onto a plane; its too big. Hopefully when I get back on Sunday night, its be in a little tighter box so I can bring it with me everywhere.
 
Harrington smiled. He didnt even mention the ailing wrist during the news conference, revealing it later during a home-country interview with RTE radio.
 
Instead, he talked about putting last years victory out of his head.
 
I have to avoid and try to play down being the defending champion, Harrington said. It obviously is a distraction for me.
 
Turns out, thats not the only one.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Open Tee Times
  • Full Coverage - Open Championship
  • Getty Images

    Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

    By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

    Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

    The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

    Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

    The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

    Getty Images

    Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

    It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

    Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

    The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

    The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

    For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

    Getty Images

    Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

    By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

    After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

    But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

    Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

    Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

    Getty Images

    Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

    By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

    Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

    The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

    “There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

    “To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

    Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

    “To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.