AUGUSTA, Ga. – Playing with a bone spur in the rotator cuff in his right shoulder since October, David Toms has been in considerable pain, but hoped with medication he could play through the Masters and then get surgery the next week.
At least that was the plan three weeks ago when he was playing in Tampa. Since then, Toms visited Dr. James Andrews, renowned orthopedic surgeon in Birmingham, Ala., last Friday and changed his plans.
“The best in the business told me six months on Friday,” Toms said of how lengthy the rehab would be if he underwent surgery.
So Toms will wait for now. Hard not to after shooting 3-under 69 on Thursday. He’s three shots back of first-round leader Fred Couples.
Originally, the 2001 PGA champion was going to take medication to get him through this week and then have surgery and be ready for the U.S. Open, but because of the lengthy rehab Toms has decided to forgo going under the knife.
“I had an injection on Friday and it feels a little bit better, and I’m just going to keep playing through it as long as I can,” Toms said. “It’s not the ideal situation from a pain and strength standpoint.”
For Toms, the biggest problem on the course is his lack of distance. So far in 2010, Toms is ranked 156th in driving distance at only 271.6 yards, nine yards less than the PGA Tour average and almost 13 yards less than what the Louisiana native posted in 2009.
“I know that I’ve been doing some things in my swing that I hopefully wouldn’t do if I was totally healthy,” Toms said. “I’m still able to practice and get through it. You know, the toughest thing is trying to get comfortable at night to sleep.”