Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington wants to play in The Open, which he won back-to-back in 2007 and 2008. Unfortunately, he’s dealing with nerve pain in his neck that may force him to go under the knife. If he does opt for surgery, his recovery timetable would be three months while The Open is scheduled to take place about five months from now in July.
Harrington had this to say about the situation:
They are talking up to 12 weeks without hitting a shot and then a couple of weeks. 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.
And 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, it would be a disaster to miss out obviously on Birkdale and miss out on the PGA as well during the summer.”
Royal Birkdale obviously has a special place in Harrington’s heart because that is where he won his second consecutive Open major championship. However, he seems to be stuck in a true dilemma because even assuming he has surgery now, he would not be able to do anything golf-related for 12 or more weeks. This is also assuming his rehab and recovery all go according to plan.
Harrington even noted as much saying:
The annoying thing about the injury, if I do have to take the 12 weeks off, if somebody turned around and said: you have to take 12 weeks off and you’re allowed to practice, I’d actually be delighted. But having to take 12 weeks off and do nothing is going to be difficult.”
While Harrington has been treating his neck pain with cortisone shots, the side effects include his right hand going numb, which directly affects his club speed. Harrington has also pointed out that his main struggles are with irons right now, saying, “I struggle to hit an iron over 200 yards at the moment, and that’s a bit of a battle.”
At the least, Harrington seems to have a clear-cut focus in saying, “I’d better get ready for The Open Championship. And it is all about that now. My focus has moved to being sharp and ready for The Open.”
h/t: espn.com, golfchannel.com