Mackenzie rues 'wasted' months

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After waiting 20 years and 509 tournaments to win on the European tour, Malcolm Mackenzie had hoped to enjoy every single minute of being French Open champion. But as he goes into the defence of one of golf's oldest titles here today, Mackenzie has the same problem that has plagued Tim Henman.

The 41-year-old from Sheffield said: "I thought my win was going to change things for me, get me going and take me up another notch. But two months later I developed an injury in my right shoulder and it's not been right since. Financially I'm back to square one, so I have to win again.

"Unfortunately I have to have surgery. It's a trapped nerve caused by a bone spur and I feel my two-year exemption has been slightly wasted.It definitely affects my swing. I don't swing as loose and it feels all jerky."

Mackenzie made only two cuts in the second half of last season and from 12 starts this year has won less than £25,000 and is 170th on the Order of Merit.

In comparison to Mackenzie's shoulder, Justin Rose's cold is a minor inconvenience as he tries to build on the fifth place finish on his US Open debut two weeks ago. "Hopefully that will give me that bit of confidence to turn steady play into better play," the 22-year-old said.

Stephen Leaney, runner-up to Jim Furyk at Olympia Fields, is also taking part, but he has still to find a regular caddie. "Second in the US Open and 23rd in the world and I still can't find a caddie," the Australian said.

He will be using Bernhard Langer's long-standing partner Pete Coleman here this week, but the Englishman and the German will be back together next week for the European Open in Ireland.

Leaney's former regular caddie, Steve Rawlinson, was poached by Colin Montgomerie at the Volvo PGA Championship last month and his decision to play full-time on the US Tour next year means he may only get a regular bagman in the short-term. "It's hard for the guys here to commit themselves to a full season in America next year, so all I really want is someone for the rest of this year," he said.

Jose Maria Olazabal, champion two years ago, is waiting to see if he can rediscover his putting. "I was a great putter, but then it went and the last few tournaments have been awful," he said.

"But I'm still ambitious. First, it's to take my game to the level where I think I can compete, then I truly believe that if I play my game I have a chance to win some [more] majors and I'd love to play in the Ryder Cup again."