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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.
Ken Venturi

5. Ken Venturi (Hands)

After several years at the top of the game followed by a precipitous slump, Venturi had spectacularly revived his career in 1964 with an emotional victory at the U.S. Open at Congressional, as well as two other wins. But the next year, Venturi was afflicted with circulatory problems in his hands that cost him strength and feel. "When I tried to play," he said, "it didn't even feel as if I had a golf club in my hands. It might as well have been a broomstick." Eventually his condition was diagnosed as a rare form of carpal tunnel syndrome. He found some temporary relief from surgery and medication, and in 1966, won the Lucky International on the course he had grown up on, Harding Park, his 14th career victory. But the hand problems soon recurred, and Venturi was forced to retire.
AP Photo

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