Injured Harrington sees short game positives
 Pádraig Harrington had an injection last Sunday to ease a pinched nerve his neck

Pádraig Harrington had an injection last Sunday to ease a pinched nerve his neck

Pádraig Harrington had an injection for a trapped nerve in his neck last Sunday but believes he will be a major force when his injury heals and his power returns.

The Dubliner missed the cut in the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, where he struggled to find any power or accuracy off the tee and was punished severely at a venue protected by deep rough.

As a result of his treatment, he hasn't been able to practice. But he's still optimistic about what lies ahead having chipped and putted as well as ever at Torrey Pines.

"I found the courses tough in San Diego because of the way I was hitting the ball, which required a lot of hybrids for my second shots!" he wrote in his weekly Facebook review.

"However the big positive for me from the two rounds I played was my short game - I chipped and hit my bunker shots well but most importantly I putted very well.  

"My first round of 74 should have been an 80 only for my short game, which gives me great confidence going forward as I know that when I get my power back, if I can put the two parts of my game together, then there will be some big weeks ahead. 

"It's disappointing not to be able to do anything for a few days, but I know the rest is best for my injuries."

 Pádraig Harrington during an interview for Golf World TV last year.

Pádraig Harrington during an interview for Golf World TV last year.

Going into detail about his latest niggle, he said: "I have a trapped nerve in my neck, and it has led to me losing power and speed.

"I thought it had cleared up when I was home but about ten days before I left it seemed to return - I hoped it would be gone again by the time we started but unfortunately not.

"The funny thing with it is that I am not in pain.  I have some numbness in my finger and some pins and needles, but other than that it's fine.  

"The problem I am having is that I have no power when I'm hitting and I have lost over 10mph in ball speed because of it, which makes the game very hard if you are giving up that amount of speed.  

"After seeing a couple of people about it, we decided the best approach was to get an injection which should help free the nerve and allow it to heal.  I got this on Sunday and now have to rest for the next few days before I play in Phoenix on Thursday." 

Harrington will be hoping for a major improvement ahead of today's opening round in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he goes off the 10th with Ryan Moore and Charley Hoffman at 1934 Irish time.

Warmer weather should help him at least achieve more distance off the tee after finishing near the back of the field for driving distance at Torrey Pines.

Shane Lowry made the cut in San Diego and improved as the week progressed, finishing 33rd after a final round 68.

He had one of just two Top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour in Phoenix last year and will be keen to go a few spots better than his share of sixth that time when he joins William McGirt and New Zealand's Danny Lee on the first at 1533 Irish time.