Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:56 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 4:48 pm

Casey shoulder injury forces match-play exit

By Steve Elling 

Even with easy money and scads of world ranking points on offer just for showing up, injured Paul Casey on Thursday elected to withdraw from the season’s first World Golf Championships event next week outside Tucson, Ariz.

Casey, who dislocated a shoulder in a holiday snowboarding accident, visited his doctor in Phoenix on Wednesday and the exam results were mixed, so Casey elected to withdraw Thursday from the Accenture Match Play to give replacement George Coetzee extra chance to get to the event site in timely fashion.

Casey, 34, has twice finished second in the Accenture event and is a past winner at the European Tour’s match-play tournament. Coetzee, ranked No. 66 in the world, is South African and will be making his first Accenture appearance. The field is limited to 64 players.

“He wanted to give Coetzee time to get there,” swing coach Peter Kostis said.

Until the moment he received the updated physician’s report on Thursday, Kostis was optimistic that his top pupil would be green-lighted by doctors this week, but it now appears that Casey will remain in rehab mode until the next WGC event, at Doral, in three weeks.

Casey, a former world No. 3 who has battled a series of injuries over the past three seasons, fell while snowboarding over Christmas break in Vail, Colo.

Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:32 pm

Cursed Casey heads to doctor yet again

ORLANDO, Fla. – Paul Casey is utterly uncertain how long he’ll be on the shelf, but if it’s a couple of months, he might want to spend the time dreaming up a more entertaining story on how he injured himself this time around.

Casey on Friday announced that because of a dislocated right shoulder sustained in a snowboarding fall on Dec. 24 in Vail, Colo., he will be out for roughly two months, though that’s admittedly just a guess.

For those envisioning a spectacular crash with a blaze of glory, flash and panache, Casey actually hurt himself while wearing all of his precautionary gear, including a helmet and wrist protection … while taking a lesson.

With snowfall levels down in Colorado this winter, the Englishman fell when he hit an icy patch of snow.

“I wish I could say I did it while perfecting my double backflip on the halfpipe,” Casey cracked Friday via phone, after finishing a rehab session near his home in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Perhaps the laughter keeps him from weeping. Casey has had a miserable run of luck over the last three years, sustaining an intercostal rib injury when he was ranked a career-best No. 3 in the world, followed by nagging foot and thumb injuries in 2011. The foot issue forced him to play with a rigid insert in his spikes, cost him to miss several planned starts and he skidded to No. 136 on the PGA Tour in earnings.

In actually, as far as his four major appendages, the only body part he hasn’t banged up recently is his left foot.

“I have MRIs of most all of my body parts,” he said.

The timing of the fall was awful, since he was seemingly primed for a nice comeback season after enduring both physical and personal setbacks in 2011, which included a divorce from his wife of 2 1/2 years last fall. Casey was set to defend his title in the European Tour’s relocated Volvo Golf Champions on Jan. 19 in South Africa, but now will stay home and work on regaining strength in his shoulder.

When Casey fell, it didn’t take long to realize that something was very amiss.

“Within five minutes, I couldn’t move it,” he said. “The lesson was obviously over.”

He’s got some heavy hitters on his medical team, including three guys with ties to Phoenix’s NFL, MLB and NHL teams.

“They did say that if you are going to dislocate your shoulder, I did it with the least amount of damage you could possibly do, which is good, I guess,” Casey said.

Casey said he won’t be able to hit balls for at least two weeks and has no idea when he will be cleared for actual play.

“I honestly can’t give you a time frame,” said Casey, who is ranked No. 20 in the world this week.

Missing starts in a Ryder Cup year – he didn’t play in the event in 2010 – will certainly have him pushing to return as soon as possible. At 34, he is the same age as countryman Luke Donald, who had a career year in 2011 and was named player of the year on two major tours.

“It can still be a great season,” Casey said optimistically, “but now it’s going to start a few weeks later than I intended. At least I won’t miss any of the majors.”

He might want to avoid coaches, too. The rib injury of two years ago came while he was working on a drill with his swing coach.

Posted on: September 23, 2011 5:51 pm

Stricker pain makes PrezCup suddenly seem iffy

ATLANTA -- So much for the cortisone shot.

Steve Stricker, the highest-ranked American in the world at No. 5, had to withdraw from the PGA Tour event last week because of a nagging issue in his neck and left shoulder, was visibly grimacing by the time he finished the second round at the Tour Championship on Friday.

Stricker had a cortisone shot administered in his spine Monday at home in Madison, Wis., and was told it would take 3-5 days for optimal results. Well, the meter's running and he certainly looks the worse for wear at the moment.

Looking for any sort of help, Stricker, 44, played with an adhesive brace on his shoulder during a second-round 70 that left him five shots off the lead.

"My whole upper body feels cruddy," Stricker said. "There's no strength at all."

Stricker said he has scheduled a follow-up appointment with a shoulder specialist in Madison for Tuesday and expects to take an MRI. He hardly seemed resolute that he was a lock to play in the Presidents Cup, set for Nov. 17-20, and said he would wait until the exam and then see what the doctor prescribed for his treatment regimen.

He hasn’t lost his sense of humor, at least. The injury will have one minor benefit.

Before they applied the adhesive brace to his neck and shoulder area, they had to remove body hair in the area. All of it.

"They shaved my back hair," he laughed, "so my wife is going to like it."

Category: Golf
Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 4:17 pm

Woods sits out Open with eye on future

ORLANDO, Fla. -- This time, there will be no limping across the U.S. Open finish line in heroic, dramatic fashion for Tiger Woods.

The former world No. 1 announced Tuesday that he will skip next week's U.S. Open in suburban Washington, D.C., because of leg issues that have dogged him since the Masters.

"Very disappointed," Woods said via his Twitter account. "Short-term frustration for long-term gain."

Woods famously won the 2008 U.S. Open with a blown-out ligament and two fractures in his left leg, the same one that has been giving him problems since tweaking it during a shot in the final round at the Masters in April. Mark Steinberg, Woods' longtime agent. phoned the U.S. Golf Association on Tuesday to pass along the news.

"Mark and I have been, for the last day or so, going back and forth," USGA executive director Mike Davis said from Washington, D.C. "He let me know early this morning [Tuesday] that Tiger wasn't going to be able to play. Obviously, not good news.

"I talked to Mark last Friday and that was the first day, I believe, that Tiger was going to try to hit balls, to go slowly to see if it went well. I guess it didn't."

The Open begins next Thursday at Congressional Country in Bethesda, Md. Woods withdrew after nine holes last month at the Players Championship after shooting 42, claiming he re-injured the knee on his first tee shot of the day. He has fallen to No. 15 in the world ranking and six Americans are currently slotted ahead of him.

Two weeks ago, Woods characterized his current issues as a "cakewalk" compared with what he faced at the 2008 U.S. Open, although that seems to have been an unfortunate choice of words. Woods said no doctor, at least at that point, had suggested a surgical remedy.

"I am extremely disappointed that I won't be playing in the U.S. Open, but it's time for me to listen to my doctors and focus on the future," Woods said on his website, where the withdrawal was first announced. "I was hopeful that I could play, but if I did, I risk further damage to my left leg. My knee and Achilles tendon are not fully healed. I hope to be ready for AT&T National, the next two majors and the rest of the year."

The AT&T event is in three weeks.

Woods has missed three majors since his rookie sesson, all because of knee issues.

Woods has played in every U.S. Open since 1994, when he was an amateur, and has won it three times. Outside of the 2008 British Open and PGA Championship, which came after his reconstructive knee surgery, the last time the 14-time Grand Slam winner missed a major was in 1996 at the PGA Championship, conducted weeks after he turned pro.

But Woods indicated sitting now will ensure a healthier result later. He hasn’t won a major since the '08 Open or the PGA Tour since August, 2009, a span of 20 months.

"It's been a frustrating and difficult year, but I'm committed to my long-term health," Woods said.

He was replaced in the field by 23-year-old amateur Michael Whitehead from Sugar Land, Tex., an alternate who competed in sectional qualifying on Monday in Dallas.

Category: Golf
Posted on: May 16, 2011 6:37 pm
Edited on: May 16, 2011 6:51 pm

Woods doubtful for Memorial, hopeful for Open

The good news is that Tiger Woods didn't inflict any more structural damage to his chronic left knee last week, but on the downside, he needs more rest and therapy before he'll be back on the PGA Tour, leaving his next appearance up in the air.

Woods announced on his website Monday that while he aggravated injuries to his knee and Achilles tendon at the Players Championship last Thursday, where he withdrew after nine holes, he didn't make it worse.

It's looking doubtful that he will play a tune-up before the U.S. Open next month, his website said. Woods said doctors again have recommended rest, cold-water therapy and soft-tissue treatment and that there's no clock on when he can come back and play.

"Aggravating my injury is very disappointing," Woods said. "I'll do whatever is necessary to play in the U.S. Open, and I'm hopeful I can be there to compete."

That might include ... doing absolutely nothing.

The website said Woods would "likely" play in the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club outside Washington, D.C., on June 16-19. It also characterized the chances as slim that Woods will play at the Memorial Tournament later this month, one of his traditional stops. Woods indicated it's a week-to-week process of evaluating his medical status.

The former world No. 1 hurt his left knee on his first swing of the day in the opening round at TPC Sawgrass and limped to a 6-over 42 before leaving after nine holes.

He originally suffered what was called a mild, Grade-1 medial-collateral ligament sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon while playing in the final round of the Masters.

Posted on: January 6, 2011 2:54 pm

Ogilvy leaves Hawaii in stitches

Say this for Twitter -- athletes can become their own news bureaus.

Only moments after it was learned that two-time defending champion Geoff Ogilvy had withdrawn Thursday from the PGA Tour season opener in Hawaii, he posted a picture of his injured finger on his Twitter page.

Note: Not for the truly squeamish.


Ogilvy said he fell in the surf and ture up his right index finger on a piece of sharp coral reef. It took 12 stitches to close the wound.

Ogilvy also indicated he would not play next week at the Sony Open in Hawaii, either, and would probably return to play in the Torrey Pines event outside San Diego in three weeks.

The winner's-only Tournament of Champions began Thursday at Kapalua.
Category: Golf
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