Tour trio feels great to be back

Michael Sim at the 2009 Johnnie Walker Classic.

SAN ANTONIO – While getting healthy may literally be a pain in Tiger’s neck, three golfers returned from golf’s disabled list this week at the Valero Texas Open.

Australia’s Michael Sim, India’s Jeev Milkha Singh and American Gary Woodland are back after lengthy layoffs due to shoulder injuries.

Sim said his right shoulder began bothering him in August, and the pain intensified after a long flight home to Sydney following the World Golf Championships CA Championship in March. Sim missed two months, including his first invitations to the Masters and Players Championships.

“That was tough,” Sim said. “I’ll have to play my way in next year. But the way I look at it is I only have one shoulder.”

Actually he has two, but the right one feels 100 percent after a cortisone injection. Sim shot 4-over in the first round.

That’s the same score posted by Singh, who missed 7 weeks due to tendonitis in his left shoulder. It started bothering him at the Dubai Desert Classic in February. He played through the pain until late-March.

“It got to the point I couldn’t complete the backswing with a driver,” he said.

photo

Gary Woodland

Singh received a cortisone shot 3 weeks ago and said his shoulder is “close to 80 percent” now. He is slowly working his way back into form, hitting a maximum of 50 balls a day until increasing to 70 on the eve of the tournament. 

Woodland returned from the longest layoff. He last competed in July at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee. He underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder on August 12, and began rehab the next day.

Woodland is playing on a major medical extension and has 9 starts to earn $541,652 to keep his card for the rest of the season. He competed in four Nationwide Tour events to get tournament tough again, and missed the cut in all four starts. He is in danger of missing the cut at his PGA Tour season debut after shooting 75 in the opening round of the Valero Texas Open.

However, Woodland spoke for Singh and Sim when he said, “The last two weeks have been the best I’ve felt in a long time.” 

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