Padraig Harrington weighing surgery ahead of British Open

February 23, 2017

Padraig Harrington has a trapped nerve in his neck that has caused numbness in his right hand and atrophy in his right triceps. He said he has lost about 5 mph in club speed, causing him to lose power.

The question is what to do about it, especially with a return to Royal Birkdale this year for the British Open.

Harrington said surgery is one option, and it’s still under consideration. For now, he has taken cortisone shots to see if that will help. He will get another opinion when he returns home to Ireland next week, but his window is closing.

Harrington won his second straight Open at Royal Birkdale in 2008, followed by the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. He is exempt in only those two majors, and Harrington is building his year around them.

To have surgery would require 12 weeks off, and he would want at least two weeks to prepare for Birkdale.

“So if I go and have it done, pretty much immediately, I’d be ready to go back playing sometime in mid-June. So I’d be in good time for the Open,” he said. “The only issue I have is if I delay surgery, think I’m getting better, and then I end up having to have surgery in May … that would be a disaster to miss out on Birkdale and miss out on the PGA during the summer.”