Presidents Cup hopeful Hunter Mahan has withdrawn from the Australian Open, citing pain in his right shoulder.
The three-time Tour winner spent time on the range prior to his second round in the hope of alleviating the discomfort, but withdrew rather than threaten his participation in next week’s Presidents Cup.
Mahan has grown accustomed to pain in recent months, but as he explained to the Associated Press, his left shoulder has traditionally proven the more likely culprit.
The 29-year-old ascribed the pain to a temporary inflammation of the joint, describing it as “fired up,” and expects to be taking his place on the range at Royal Melbourne in the coming days.
“It came on Wednesday night, and Thursday it wasn’t great. Today was the worst it has been. The more I keep swinging, the worse it gets. But I don’t see this being a long-term problem for next week.”
That optimism was tempered somewhat, however, by a suggestion that he has already prepared himself for the worst. Reflecting upon the willingness of PGA champion Keegan Bradley to join the team in his place, Mahan struck a fatalistic note.
“If Fred has to call, then … .”
This most recent development adds a further complication to the preparations of United States team captain Fred Couples and, considered alongside the struggles of veteran performer Steve Stricker, raises the troubling possibility of an unprecedented double substitution.