Harrington quits practice round
Wednesday 16 July 2008
Open champion Padraig Harrington's much-anticipated fitness test on an injured wrist lasted just two shots at Royal Birkdale this morning.
The Irishman teed off from the 10th, having played the front nine yesterday, and hit a two iron and then a seven iron before aborting his practice round.
Harrington said he felt pain in the wrist, which he injured on Saturday, with his approach to the green.
He was heard to say to caddie Ronan Flood: "That's it, we're finished for the day."
The Ryder Cup star was then believed to have headed straight for treatment with Australian chiropractor Dale Richardson.
Harrington had earlier had a good session on the range and reported no problems with the wrist.
Today's development raises questions over whether Harrington will be fit enough to defend the title he won in a play-off against Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie 12 months ago.
Yesterday Harrington played only nine holes of practice without attempting a single shot out of the rough, before being advised to rest further.
"I could not support the weight of the club with my wrist on Saturday and Sunday," he said before his practice round yesterday.
"I can do that now but I don't know about hitting into the turf or the rough and that's something I can't really test.
"I know I will not get through 72 holes this week without going in the rough and the biggest worry is if I do something that will flare it up and give me a problem.
"If it wasn't the Open I would have pulled out. I would have come for treatment and then decided I could not risk it. But because it's Open week I will definitely make the effort."
However, after several minutes discussion with Richardson and members of the European Tour's on-site physiotherapy team Harrington was reassured enough to return to the course for further practice.
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