Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Knee op rules Harrington out of Wales Open


Padraig Harrington is going into hospital for a knee operation after this week's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and will not play the Wales Open at Celtic Manor from 3-6 June.
The surgery has been planned so that the three-time major champion recovers in time for the US Open at Pebble Beach in four weeks.Harrington said: "I wanted to get the opinion of my doctor on a knee injury I picked up whilst playing football at Christmas."
After two MRIs and a second consultation, my doctor has advised having a minor procedure in the very near future to prevent the issue developing.
"I will have the operation on Tuesday and will return for the St Jude Classic."
That is in Memphis the week after Celtic Manor and further weakens the field for an event where European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie had hoped to watch all his cup candidates in action. Most of his stars will now be elsewhere as the Wales Open clashes with The Memorial tournament at Muirfield Village in Ohio.
Harrington added: "If I wait until the end of the year, the doctor feels it could cause some arthritic problems. If I can have it cleared up now it reduces the chance.
"So it's just a precautionary thing. Plus it's my right knee, so I'm not so dependent on it playing golf. I can't really do much about it. This is something that's affecting my career if I don't get it done. In fairness to the doctor, he would have done it before The Masters if it was up to him."
Another top golfer struggling with injury is Ian Poulter, forced to take time off recently after hurting his knee playing basketball. He is now having treatment for a neck strain on the eve of the Wentworth event.
The world No 6, playing in the European Tour's flagship event for the first time since 2007 following changes to the course, has been suffering on and off for more than two months."It's been looked at and they can't find any structural problem, but it appears to go into spasm after sleep," said manager Paul Dunkley.
"A physio came and cricked it last night and that's given Ian full movement, but he'll keep having it massaged. He was able to hit balls this morning and I don't think there's any doubt about him playing on Thursday."
Poulter is back in Europe for only one week. The World Match Play champion will also miss The Wales Open at Celtic Manor, as he is returning to America to prepare for the US Open a fortnight later.
"I would like to be there, but it just doesn't fit into my schedule," he said."It's all about schedule – I can't take any tournament out and still play my 15 in the States. If I did I'd be in breach.
"Celtic Manor is not a course I don't know. Twelve of the holes for the Ryder Cup we played when I won the (2003) Wales Open.
"I've got to learn six holes. For my first two Ryder Cups I'd not seen either course until the week of the match."
Meanwhile, England's Robert Coles has been called into the field for the BMW PGA Championship after South African Keith Horne could not arrange a visa in time.
Horne, who had been given an invitation along with Scot Stephen Gallacher, joins compatriots Retief Goosen and Richard Sterne, Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal, New Zealander Michael Campbell, Indian Jeev Milkha Singh and American Shaun Micheel in pulling out.



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