Pádraig Harrington in fitness battle to make PGA Championship tee-off

Pádraig Harrington was optimistic he would be fit enough to play in today’s opening round of the BMW PGA Championship and insisted a shoulder injury would not prevent him teeing up at next week’s Irish Open.

Three-time major champion Harrington withdrew from yesterday’s Pro-Am at Wentworth after suffering discomfort in his left shoulder on Tuesday night following a gym session.

“Working on the principle I’ve never pulled out of an event injured, I believe I’ll make it. I’m an optimist,” Harrington said yesterday of his chances of making his 12.40pm tee time alongside Shane Lowry and Branden Grace.

“But I hurt my shoulder. I was doing a gym exercise and it was a little bit unstable, there was a little bit of a niggle but I kept on doing it.

“I hit shots after the gym yesterday and it stiffened during the night and I struggled to sleep with it.

“I got up this morning and it’s what most people would call ‘a frozen shoulder’.

“So there’s a weakness in it and a pain when I lift my arm. I hope with the right treatment from physios and doctors I will be okay. Everybody is here: If you’re ever going to be injured, this is a good week to be injured.

“Thankfully I have a late tee time, so it will be an extra five hours of movement in the morning and a bit of blood flow into it, and hopefully it will be okay. Beware the injured golfer!”

Harrington famously began the 2008 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale carrying a wrist injury and went on to successfully defend the title and Claret Jug he had first won 12 months earlier at Carnoustie.

“If there’s a physical way of me teeing up, I will tee it up,” the Dubliner added. “The chances of me being 100%, very slim. The chances of me playing, very high. That would be the way I would look at it.”

With the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open looming next week at Royal County Down and the probability that he will also play a 36-hole US Open qualifier on Monday at Walton Heath if he fails to get a top-three finish this weekend, Harrington insisted those appearances were not in jeopardy.

“It would be absolutely no issue whatsoever for The Irish Open. This would be an injury that with a couple of physio sessions will be gone in a week. The problem is I’ve only got 24 hours to get it done.

“It will go away pretty quickly. I have my own physio with me, but we have also consulted with the Tour physios and the Tour doctors.

“I’ve had an ultrasound on it just to confirm what we expected. It was a nice confirmation everything is very, very solid and healthy in the shoulder.

“No tear, no issue at all. It really is just I’ve just upset it. Let me see if I can get this right: I’ve upset my infraspinatus.”

Asked to spell his affliction, Harrington replied: “Can I spell it? Not a chance. I can hardly pronounce it.”


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