U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

The Loop

Harrington suffering from back spasms

August 14, 2009

CHASKA, Minn. -- Padraig Harrington's extensive work on his golf swing this year is taking a toll on his body. The defending PGA champion told Golf World on Friday before his second round at Hazeltine National Golf Club that he is battling a myriad of problems, primarily back spasms. "It's ongoing," Harrington said while changing his shoes in Hazeltine's locker room. "I guess I'm paying a little bit for trying to get better."


Harrington said he suffered severe spasms after Thursday's opening 4-under-par 68. At 5:40 p.m. CDT Thursday the three-time major champion was seen getting worked on by two physiotherapy trainers in the locker room. The 37-year-old Irishman, who posted his first top-10 on the PGA Tour last week when he finished T-2 behind Tiger Woods at the Bridgestone Invitational, also had his feet immersed in tubs of ice water -- he said he has a chronically sore left ankle -- and later soaked his right elbow in a tub of ice water. Twice winner of the British Open, Harrington arrived at Hazeline National on Friday at 12:10 p.m. and was worked on again by therapists for 20 minutes prior to his second-round pairing with Woods and 2002 winner Rich Beem at 1:45 p.m. Harrington begins the second round one shot behind Woods, who has won four PGA titles. He shrugged when asked about the pre-round work on his back. "It's what it takes to get ready," he said. "It's just part of being a professional athlete." -- Dave Shedloski

(Photo caption: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)