Padraig Harrington has been forced to withdraw from this week's FedEx St Jude Classic after being hit on the elbow by an amateur in a freak accident during a coaching session at a company day.
The 45-year old will be out for around a fortnight after receiving six stitches in the wound, revealing on Twitter that he initially feared for his career.
“Yesterday I picked up an elbow injury at a golf outing in Washington DC," Harrington said. "Whilst coaching an amateur golfer on how to cure his hook, I stepped in close to demonstrate the action for a fade, but as I was stepping away he continued to swing and caught me flush on the elbow.
"My initial thought was that the elbow was shattered and it was the end to my competitive playing career. I nearly fainted with the pain and shock.
I applied ice to the elbow within seconds and also compressed it to minimise any inflammation. After an X-ray at the hospital, I was delighted to learn that it wasn’t broken, but it still required six-deep stitches.
"I have been advised to be cautious and it will need 10 - 12 days for the stitches to heal, so I have been forced to withdraw from this week’s FedEx St Jude Classic tournament in Memphis.”
Thankfully nothing was broken,just 6 stitches. I thought it was the end of me playing competitive golf.— Padraig Harrington (@padraig_h) June 6, 2017
I'll only be out for 12 days or so to let stitches heal.— Padraig Harrington (@padraig_h) June 6, 2017
Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press reported:
"I've been hit before," Harrington said. "The common one is I've done a couple of junior clinics, and they've hit me on the shin with the golf ball. Of course, you can't start crying in front of a 9-year-old. You just jump around because you can't curse and you can't cry."
In this case, he said, he nearly fainted. And he said the amateur felt terrible.
"When I came back from the hospital, I gave him a big hug," Harrington said. "It was a pure accident. These things happen. I know he felt bad. And he actually told me I straightened out his hook."
Having failed to qualify for the US Open 10 days ago, it remains to be seen if Harrington's next appearance will come at the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut or the HNA Open de France, which is his final event before building up for The Open by playing the Irish Open at Portstewart and the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.
"All under review, to be honest," his manager Adrian Mitchell said in an email.