Golf Digest editors picks

My Five: Golf's Most Damaging Injuries

Jaime Diaz looks back at five careers hampered badly by injury

June 8, 2011
Editor's Note: Jaime Diaz compiled this list of golf's most damaging injuries shortly after Tiger Woods reinjured his left leg in 2011.
With Tiger Woods again on the shelf with leg problems and Phil Mickelson dealing with arthritis, the game's two most prominent players are in jeopardy of joining golf's long list of top players -- including chronically ailing current stars like Fred Couples and Jose Maria Olazabal -- whose career paths were seriously compromised by injury. Injuries change history, and here are the five occurrences that proved most consequential.
Lee Trevino

2. Lee Trevino (Back)

Although never a long hitter, Trevino's stocky, athletic body was tremendously strong through the ball as he won five majors through 1974 with relentlessly pure ball-striking. But after being hit by lightning at the 1975 Western Open, Trevino's back and legs were permanently weakened, causing him to lose much of his speed and impairing his uncanny ability to hold the clubhead square for so long past impact. He underwent several back and neck surgeries, but would finally conclude that "I was never the same." In response, Trevino compromised much like Hogan, becoming ever more accurate and a master of course management. He managed to win eight more times on the PGA Tour after the lightning strike, the last time the 1984 PGA Championship at age 44, his sixth and final major and his 29th career victory.
AP Photo

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