Triple Major winning Padraig Harrington returned to competition after a freak elbow injury shooting a Travelers first round 66 in Connecticut and confirmed he will contest next month’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.
Harrington had to have six stitches inserted into an injury on the point of his elbow and while he said the bone is still sensitive there is no real outside evidence of any injury aside from a very small scratch of sorts.
“I had been starting to show some form at the Memorial and then the day after I managed to get injured again for a second time this season, so I am hoping it does not come in threes.”
“This latest injury was my own fault in getting too close to an amateur I was giving a lesson to, but looking at it now you wouldn’t know as I’ve had the stitches out and it has healed up so well, and so much so, I am a little bit embarrassed about it (laughing).”
“And this is the great thing about being a professional golfer as every time you get injured you get a holiday. So, I have had a 12-week holiday and now followed that up with a 10-day holiday.”
“So, I am not sharp tee-to-green as I am doubting a lot of my lines but then I was starting to get there. Thankfully my short game was very sharp and I have been practicing that a lot, so when you have a neck injury and an elbow injury really all you can do is chip and putt”.
Harrington ended the round, and his 28th in now eight appearances at the Travelers trailing three shots behind Jordan Spieth who shot a round of 63.
“This is my low score of the year but then I have only played 21 rounds this year”, said Harrington smiling.
“The good thing is that I had 13 straight one-putts in the pro-am yesterday and I followed that up today,” he said.
This year marks the first occasion in nine years the Open Championship will return to Royal Birkdale since Harrington won golf ’s oldest Major back-to-back in 2008/09..
And while Harrington will also contest the Irish Open and also the Scottish Open the week prior, he indicated his delight in heading to Dundonald Links.
“Ideally, I would only play one week before The Open but then I was considering playing the French, the Irish and then taking the Scottish Open off this year,” he said.
“But that would mean four weeks in succession up to and including Birkdale, so that was an issue for me.”
“So, by playing here this week at the Travelers and not the French Open next week, I am now able to include the Scottish Open.”
“But given before this week, because of the neck surgery and my elbow injury, I have only played 21 rounds this year, so I need to play and looking forward to heading to Dundonald. I have not been to Dundonald but I know exactly where it is”.