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Parnevik plots return to Tour

Jesper Parnevik believes he can put off back surgery and is hopeful he will be able to play golf again.

One day after claiming that it would take a "miracle" for him to play the sport again, Parnevik said rest and physical therapy could put him back on the PGA Tour in a couple of months.

He said he would go to Detroit next week to meet with Gary Gray, who specializes in applied functional science.

"It's painful," Parnevik said. "The good news is I finally found out what's been bothering me the past few years. Now I can do something about it. The bad news is I never expected it would be a fractured vertebrae."

Parnevik, a five-time winner on the Tour, originally claimed that doctors told him he'd need joint fusion surgery, "which means I can't play anymore."

"I'll have to hope for a miracle if there's going to be any more competitive golf," he said at the time.

However, his mood has now changed after he first spoke with Gray.

"That I'm going to quit the game and my career is over is not the case," Parnevik said. "He (Gray) was very optimistic that I could come back without having the surgery. I'm going to have to rest for a few months and go on his workout schedule. I'm going to do everything I can to get back and hopefully get rid of the stiffness and pain in my back, and play normal golf."

Parnevik had surgery on his left hip nine years ago, and missed the second half of last year after right hip surgery.

He shot a 68 in the first round of the Northern Trust Open despite hitting 200-yard hooks off the tee and leaving himself fairway metals into most of the greens. He said it was the greatest 68 he had ever played, but the 44-year-old Swede withdrew the next day.

"I did not have a clue what to do about my back," Parnevik said. "Now I know exactly what to do. It was a very good phone call."

Meanwhile, the world's top players will get an early chance to familiarise themselves with the changes to the Pebble Beach course ahead of the US Open when they play at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am this week.

The famous Californian course will play host to the US Open in June, and six of the world's top 20 -- defending champion Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia, Sean O'Hair and Retief Goosen -- have taken the chance to get an early look at the adjustments that have been made.

Adjustments

Players will rotate between Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monteray Peninsula on the opening three days before the final round back at Pebble.

That will give players at least two days to cast an eye over the changes, which includes several new bunkers while the fairway contours have been pushed closer to the cliffs to try to bring the Pacific Ocean into play.

With wet conditions set for this week, the course is likely to play differently to the sun-drenched Open in June.

Johnson, who won last year's event, said he is looking forward to defending his title, especially with the wet conditions looking likely to return.

"I like this tournament a lot," he said. "I won last year here and it helped my confidence the rest of the year.

Jon Daly will also play the event -- his first tournament after he opted not to stick to his hasty decision to quit golf a fortnight ago.


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