Padraig Harrington’s neck could keep up from making cut
Padraig Harrington was finally rounding the corner. After spending the better part of his offseason working on every swing tweak under the sun, it looked like things were coming together for the three-time major champion. He posted a T-8 last week’s at the Shell Houston, and he even found a way to finish in the top-10 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship a couple weeks prior.
Ladies and gentleman, Padraig Harrington was primed to tackle Augusta this year. His recent form at Augusta, while mixed, led some to believe he was the perfect darkhorse for this week … a streaky player who could put together four brilliant rounds in the blink of an eye. He’d done it before, so how hard it would it be to recreate some of his major championship magic at the Masters?
After Thursday, the answer to that question is “very difficult.” But it had nothing to do with Harrington’s play on the course; instead, it had everything to do with Harrington’s neck. As Brian Keogh of the Irish Golf Desk noted, Harrington wrenched it during his warm-up session, thereby forcing him to play Thursday’s round with the injury.
The injury was so bad, in fact, that Harrington was unable to align himself properly on the greens. “I nearly pulled out before I started,” Harrington said. “I haven’t even come close to swinging the club. I was wondering if I should pull out, but I wouldn’t. That’s just my nature. I would always have a go. But it wasn’t much fun.
“I was swinging the left‑handed shot, just warming up and it just kind of clicked and I’m not able to move to my right. Such is life.”
You have to feel bad for Harrington, a guy who already suffered a terrible fate earlier this season when he was DQ’d in Abu Dhabi for a rules violation that was called in by a viewer. The USGA and R&A’s just happened to announce earlier this morning that they’re changing the DQ rules, a move that would have allowed the Irishman, who was in contention, to take a penalty and remain in the tournament.
Who knows, maybe Harrington heard the news on the range, whipped his neck around to see if it was true, and wrenched the darn thing in the process. Considering his bad luck this season, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.