It is at least mildly disturbing, despite protestations to the contrary, that Rory McIlroy, at 20 and an important part of the game's future, already is experiencing back problems.
McIlroy, according to this Associated Press report, has stretched ligaments in his lower back.
"His agent, Chubby Chandler, says the 20-year-old from Northern Ireland had a back scan Monday that revealed nothing more than stretched ligaments," the AP story said. "Chandler says it came from 10 days of practice last month to get ready for the season, then playing two tournaments in three weeks."
McIlroy still expects to play in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship next week outside Tucson.
Jesper Parnevik, meanwhile, possibly is facing retirement because of a broken vertebrae in his lower back. "I'll have to hope for a miracle if there's going to be any more competitive golf," he told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.
-- John Strege