Tuesday 20 March 2018

'He told me I straightened out his hook' - Padraig Harrington feared injury caused by amateur would end his career

Ireland's Padraig Harrington has withdrawn from the FedEx St Jude Classic due to injury
Ireland's Padraig Harrington has withdrawn from the FedEx St Jude Classic due to injury

James Corrigan

Padraig Harrington feared his career was over with a shattered elbow after being wounded by an amateur’s backswing.

The Dubliner required stitches and was forced to withdraw from this week’s St Jude Classic in Memphis. Yet he was actually a relieved man.

Harrington, 45, suspected not only would that he not be able to compete in next month’s Open at Royal Birkdale, the Southport links where he won the second of his two Claret Jugs nine years ago, but that might be it for good.

“Barring me fainting from the shock of pain, once I numbed it up, I couldn't feel anything," Harrington told AP, explaining that he was trying to teach the amateur how to fix his hook in the sponsors clinic in Washington DC. 

“He caught me on the left elbow - middle of the clubface, middle of the elbow. I was pretty sure it was broken and thought it was the end of me playing competitive golf.

“Thankfully nothing was broken, just six stitches. I’ll only be out for 12 days or so to let the stitches heal.”

Harrington’s next appearance is likely to be either the French Open in Paris at the start of July, or the Irish Open at Portstewart the week after.

He had already failed to qualify for next week’s US Open and was able to see the funny side.

"When I came back from the hospital, I gave him a big hug," Harrington said. "It was a pure accident. These things happen. I know he felt bad. And he told me I straightened out his hook."

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