Smylie Kaufman ends rough, injury-plagued season by filing for medical extension

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Smylie Kaufman ends rough, injury-plagued season by filing for medical extension

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Smylie Kaufman ends rough, injury-plagued season by filing for medical extension

Smylie Kaufman has inarguably faced one of the toughest seasons on the course of any PGA Tour player in 2017-18. And apparently he has decided to end it early.

According to Golf Digest, Kaufman has filed with the PGA Tour for a medical extension due to an inflamed left elbow. The 26-year-old has had forearm and wrist issues much of 2018 and while the elbow showed no structural damage in an MRI, per Digest, the pain became too much to deal with.

Kaufman hasn’t competed since the Greenbrier and isn’t expected to play again for at least two months, according to Digest. If the medical is granted, he’ll have five starts when he returns to earn enough points to keep his PGA Tour card.

If he has any chance of succeeding there, his play will need to improve significantly from what he showed in 2017-18.

This past season was as rough (and baffling) as they come for Kaufman. It all began just fine, with a T-4 in his second event of the campaign. But after that, it was a nightmare.

Following that result, Kaufman would miss 18 of his next 19 cuts. In all, his season amounted to 19 missed cuts or withdrawals in 22 starts. Those results left him making just over $200,000 for the year and sitting 196th in the FedEx Cup standings.

This comes just two seasons after winning the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and finishing the regular season 26th in FedEx Cup points. He then made it into the final group Sunday at the 2016 Masters. Even though a closing 81 saw him sink to a T-29 showing, that week at Augusta seemed to signal further proof that Kaufman was a rising young star.

This season, though, has shattered that vision, at least for the moment.

Maybe when Kaufman returns healthy, he will start to get back onto that promising path he seemed to be carving out.

In the meantime, he’ll get some rest and a chance to regroup after a harrowing campaign.

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