Michelle Wie, Tiger Woods prove golf can be hazardous to your health

Michelle Wie became the latest tour golfer to withdraw from a tournament due to injury when the reigning U.S. Women’s Open champion left the Meijer LPGA Classic on Thursday with a balky wrist.

“It just started hurting last week and kept getting worse,” Wie told the Associated Press outside the medical trailer after retiring from the Michigan event with a nine-hole tally of 5-over. “It got to the point where I really couldn’t hold a club today. I’m going to try and get an MRI right now and see what my next steps are. I hope I can play next week. So we’ll see.”

Golf, it turns out, can be hazardous to your health. Just ask Tiger Woods, who played in the opening round of this week’s PGA Championship like a guy with a bad back, which he is.

Playing in just his 11th round since returning from a length hiatus after back surgery in March, Woods scuffled to a 3-over 74. That put the 14-time major champion nine shots back of 18-hole co-leaders Lee Westwood, Kevin Chappell, and Ryan Palmer, and on the fast track to the third cut of his forlorn, injury-plagued 2014 season.

Woods failed to make it to the weekend at last month’s Quicken Loans National, his first start after his March 31 microdiscectomy, and missed his first-ever 54-hole cut at Torrey Pines in January.

Though Woods and Wie are the most renowned of the golfers just off the DL or headed to the sidelines, they were certainly not alone in the MASH unit. Prior to his opening round, Matt Kuchar withdrew from the PGA proceedings with back spasms, while a degenerative, arthritic condition forced defending champion Jason Dufner to pull out after 10 holes of his first day at Valhalla.

“I can’t play golf. There’s no reason to be out here,” Dufner told broadcaster TNT after withdrawing following a triple-bogey 8 on the 10th hole.

Dufner, who told us in June he may retire from the PGA Tour in five years, said his immediate future was up in the air.

It “could be two weeks at Barclays [the first leg of the FedExCup playoffs], it could be never again to be honest with you, though I doubt that that’s the case,” Dufner, whose neck began bothering him in April at Augusta, said about when he might tee it up again. “I’m not proving anything out here. I’m not going to continue to play hurt, it’s no fun.”

Nope, no fun at all. Tiger Woods can attest to that.


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