McGinley struck down by back spasm

A pensive Paul McGinley crosses a bridge during Thursday’s first round. Picture via OneAsia.asiaEuropean Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley was forced to retire with a recurrence of a back injury after just six holes of the second round in the Thailand Open.

The Dubliner, who suffered badly as he chiseled out a two under 70 in Thursday’s opening round, now faces a race against time to be fit to tee it up for Queenwood in the two-day Tavistock Cup exhibition in Florida in 10 days’ time.

“I had a back spasm in my left glut and lower back,” McGinley said. “I shouldn’t have played yesterday because I could only chip and chase ball down the fairway.

“It’s a recurrence of the problem I had late last year and it’s all related to my knee. Hopefully it will be okay for the Tavistock Cup but right now it feels worse than last year.”

McGinley has undergone seven knee operations during his career and last October, back pain forced himto withdraw before the opening round of the Portugal Masters and have a minor procedure at a Birmingham hospital.

“My lower back was inflamed and in spasm due to wear and tear over the years,”  McGinley explained at the time. “It inflamed at the Ryder Cup and it hasn’t reacted as it normally does to treatment so the tour doctor has advised this small procedure with a specialised doctor here in Birmingham.”

He returned to action in time to play an exhibition match in China and the BMW Masters in Shanghai but since being awarded the 2014 Ryder Cup captaincy, he has missed the cut in his first three starts of the season.

Padraig Harrington, meanwhile, had six birdies in a bogey free 66 to trail clubhouse leader Azuma Yano (65) by a stroke on 11 under par at Thana City Golf & Sports Club.

Harrington finished his second round tied with defending champion Chris Wood (66), Kyoung-hoon Lee (66) and Thanyakon Khronghpa (63). Live scoring