Hip surgery knocks Strange off Champions Tour
Two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange will miss four months of action on the Champions Tour after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right hip April 21 in Nashville, Tenn.
Strange, 54, who this year will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the second of his back-to-back Open titles (he was the first since Ben Hogan in 1950-51 to successfully defend a U.S. Open victory), had been bothered by the hip for about four years. According to Strange, Dr. Thomas Byrd shaved away bone spurs and drilled holes to help blood flow and cartilage growth in the joint. A small fracture in the socket will keep Strange on crutches for eight weeks to allow it to heal, followed by eight weeks of rehabilitation. "The fish will be safe for the first eight weeks, then look out," said Strange, an avid angler who does a lot of offshore fishing near his North Carolina home.
A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame who won 17 PGA Tour events (16 of them in the 1980s), Strange has found success elusive as a senior after mothballing his game while working as an analyst on ABC golf telecasts from 1997-2004. He has four top-10s in 80 events since joining the Champions Tour in 2005, his best finish a third-place at the 2005 Constellation Energy Classic. His best outing in 2009 was a T-19 at the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii.
*-- Bill Fields *