Ernie Els withdrew from the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club because of a sore neck. Martin Hardy, his spokesman at International Sports Management, told the AP he wasn’t sure how Els tweaked his neck. The South African last competed four weeks ago at the Sony Open. He’s expected to return to action next week at the Match Play Championship in Tucson, Arizona. But Els was spotted the weekend before last playing in Florida and sporting some scruff — see!
Els was playing behind my college teammate’s mother, who loved Els and called him a “doll,” at Old Palm in Palm Beach Gardens and stopped to pose for a picture.
Anyway! Hope Ernie rests up his neck and feels better soon.
Meanwhile, Tim Clark has pulled out for the second week in a row and the third time in 2011. He withdrew from the Bob Hope Classic due to a bad bout of blisters that he endured at the Sony Open. Last week Clark suffered an elbow injury, forcing him to sit out of the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am. According to PGATour.com, no official reason was given for withdrawing from the Northern Trust Open, but I’m guessing the elbow is still bothering him.
Michael Putnam has replaced Els in the field and Brandt Jobe got the call to take Clark’s spot.
Oh, and of course, I’m injured. If I had a dollar every time I was called a “trooper” today…I’d have enough money to buy a six pack. I have a new nickname from hobbling around the practice areas in crutches already — “gimpy.” The guys out here are so compassionate! With the rain and slippery conditions (which are only supposed to get worse), I’m worried that I’m going to slip and injure my other foot. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen. It’s already tough enough to get around on one leg!
(Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images AsiaPac)