Thursday, November 10, 2011


Hunter Mahan withdrew today from the Australian Open because of soreness behind his right shoulder, raising questions about whether he can play next week in The Presidents Cup.
Mahan said he fully expects to be play at Royal Melbourne, and believes he will be ready to go after a few days of rest.
The pain is nothing new, although he said typically it has been behind the left shoulder. He started feeling pain Wednesday night, and it gradually improved during his opening round at The Lakes when he shot 73 while playing with John Daly and Craig Parry.
"It wasn't great for nine holes, then they came out and popped my back and it was a little better," Mahan said. "It's just the rotation. It's fired up to the point that I can't get through the ball."
Mahan said he has kept U.S. captain Fred Couples apprised -- Couples also is playing the Australian Open. And while Mahan expects to be ready for the Presidents Cup, he left some doubt by saying, "If Fred has to call, then ... ."
That was reference to US PGA champion Keegan Bradley, who Couples has said would be the replacement if any of his players were injured.
Mahan leaves the U.S. team with two players whose health is in question. Steve Stricker has not played since September 25 at the Tour Championship because of a neck injury that has weakened his left arm.
Stricker chose not to play at Disney as his tune-up for the Presidents Cup, instead going to Arizona this week to practise. He has said he expects to play, and likely will be the partner again for Tiger Woods. They went 4-0 as a team last year.
Bradley just returned home to Florida after two weeks in Shanghai.
Mahan tried to play this morning. He said the pain tends to go away once he warms up, but that wasn't the case today. Physical therapists worked on his shoulder, and his shirt was untucked on the range as he debated playing. Ultimately, he decided it was better to rest.
"It came on Wednesday night, and Thursday it wasn't great," Mahan said. "Today was the worst it has been. The more I keep swinging, the worse it gets. But I don't see this being a long-term problem for next week."

Luke Donald on US PGA Player of the Year shortlist

Luke Donald could become the first British golfer to win the PGA Tour Player of the Year award after he was named on a five-man shortlist.
Americans Keegan Bradley, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson and Nick Watney are also in the running.
Tour professionals vote for the winner, with Donald already assured of the US PGA Tour money list title for 2011.
The Englishman, who has won two events and enjoyed 14 top-10 finishes, is favourite to lift the players' award.
Luke Donald also won the Vardon Trophy on the US PGA Tour this year for the lowest adjusted scoring average
Donald has already won the US PGA Player of the Year award for 2011, a more statistically-based award, presented by the PGA of America.
Since its inception in 1990, the US PGA Tour Player of the Year prize - also known as the Jack Nicklaus Trophy - has been claimed by the PGA Player of the Year on all but two occasions.
One of those to miss out on the double was Donald's fellow Englishman Nick Faldo, who failed to win the players' vote in 1990, while Corey Pavin missed out 12 months later.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington won both during his successful season in 2008, when he also won the USPGA Championship and the Open Championship.
Tiger Woods has been the US Tour's most successful player, winning both awards 10 times apiece.
Bradley has also been nominated for the US PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award alongside Chris Kirk, Charl Schwartzel, Scott Stallings, Brendan Steele and Jhonattan Vegas.



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