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Rocket Mortgage Classic

Tour pro who's climbing leader board can blame some career troubles on fall from a ladder

July 03, 2021

Mark Anderson plays in the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Nic Antaya

Mark Anderson certainly has the right to wonder if the golf gods have something against him.

A 35-year-old who has had four separate stints on the PGA Tour, Anderson joined the contenders on the leader board on Saturday in the Rocket Mortgage Classic, dropping in six birdies on his back nine to shoot five-under-par 67 at Detroit Golf Club to get to nine under after three rounds. (The card could have been considerably better, but Anderson double bogeyed the 18th hole by hitting a greenside bunker shot into a hazard.)

Anderson, currently ranked 706th in the world, can blame some of his career troubles on a … ladder … and the subsequent ankle injuries that have affected his performances over a couple of seasons.

In May 2014, Anderson was 15 feet up on a ladder, changing a light bulb at his home in Beaufort, S.C., when he fell and suffered torn ligaments in his right ankle. On the PGA Tour for the second time after winning on the Web.com Tour in 2013, Anderson lost the rest of the year, unable to fully play golf until that September.

“I don’t own a tall ladder now,” Anderson told The State newspaper.

Anderson played on a medical exemption in 2015 but couldn’t keep his card. He got back to the PGA Tour in 2016-17, but again couldn’t retain status. And in 2019, he rolled his ankle and broke another bone, but that didn’t foil his season. He’d already won the Korn Ferry event in Colombia that February, setting himself up to earn his PGA Tour card again for the 2019-20 campaign.

At 199th in the FedEx Cup standings, Anderson is once again battling to keep his card and a strong finish could go a long way toward sticking around. Up to this point, it’s been a rough wraparound season thus far. His best finish is a T-26 in the Bermuda in November, and at one point Anderson missed six straight cuts.