LPGA's Austin Ernst sidelined with mono until CME Championship in November

REGINA, CANADA - AUGUST 25: Austin Ernst of the United States walks down the 2nd fairway during the third round of the CP Womens Open at the Wascana Country Club on August 25, 2018 in Regina, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

LPGA's Austin Ernst sidelined with mono until CME Championship in November

LPGA Tour

LPGA's Austin Ernst sidelined with mono until CME Championship in November

Austin Ernst, fresh off a runner-up finish at the Evian Championship, thought at first that she was suffering from jet lag. It was a sore throat that eventually sent her to the doctor. The diagnosis: mononucleosis.

“It hits you hard,” said Ernst, who immediately reached out to Kim Kaufman and Anna Nordqvist, two players who battled mono last season.

“They both basically said you’re going to think you’re OK in two weeks,” said Ernst.

But that’s not going to be the case.

The LPGA is in week No. 3 of its five limited-field event Asian swing. A recovering Ernst won’t be seeing any of Asia this fall and plans to return to the LPGA at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship Nov. 15-18 in Naples, Fla.

Kaufman played three consecutive weeks in Asia last year before discovering she had mono. In Malaysia, the fatigue was so bad she couldn’t even warm up.

“You know, mono you just need to rest,” said Kaufman at last year’s CME, where she also made her return to competition. “That’s I think the problem in Asia is that I kept thinking it’s jet lag and I kept thinking it’s whatever, stay awake, get after it.”

Nordqvist fell ill with mono last summer and battled through several draining months, coming out on top at the Evian Championship in spite of it all.

Doctors told the 26-year-old Ernst that she probably contracted the virus several weeks before symptoms popped up. Ernst, who won the 2011 NCAA champion while at LSU, was understandably looking forward to Asia after coming off a share of second at the year’s final major. Ernst posted five top-six finishes since May and currently ranks 15th on the money list with $848,381. She ranks fourth on tour in greens in regulation and ninth in scoring.

On Tuesday, Ernst reported that she had added wedges to her limited practice routine.

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