At one point, it seemed as if half the field at last week's Honda Classic was either sick or playing on a medical extension. Jesper Parnevik lost 11 pounds during his trip to Mexico for the Mayakoba Golf Classic and Tim Herron summoned paramedics when his heart began to race on the golf course, a result, it turned out, of a sinus infection. Brett Quigley made his first cut since having knee surgery before the 2007 Fall Series, finishing T-12 and earning enough money to keep his card for the rest of 2008. And Ben Crane (T-12) and Dudley Hart (T-15) got closer to regaining full-time tour status. But 36-hole leader Brian Davis took a back seat to no one.
"I had been swinging it bad for a couple of years and not been happy," said the Englishman, who finished T-7 after weekend rounds of 73-73. "I had a back problem early [last] year. That went away and I started having pains in my neck. I played the last seven events of the season and I herniated two discs in my neck at Disney. I sneezed and I heard it pop. Because it was the last event, I just carried on. Unfortunately, it was quite a long road back."
The road included two months of therapy and inactivity. "I've been lacking in strength," Davis said after his opening rounds of 65-67 gave him a one shot lead. "Having two months [between tournaments], I thought I might as well shut down. I probably came back a little too early. It's one of those things, you've got to start playing sometime." Davis made two cuts in five starts on the West Coast, his best finish being a T-26 at the Hope.
"It was a real struggle to hang in there," Davis admitted after the third round. "I kept myself in it and I could have played myself out of it. I felt like I shot 80. I started off OK, but I hit a couple of bad shots and all of a sudden started hitting it left and right and left and then left again. I just had to hang on for dear life coming in and hanging on for dear life at the Bear Trap isn't the best thing in the world."
- -- Jim Moriarty*