AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tim Clark shouldn't be at the Masters. Or at least he wouldn't be at the Masters if it wasn't, well, the Masters. Prior to Tuesday, the 36-year-old Clark hadn't hit a ball in three months. When he extended his right hand to greet someone on the practice green on Wednesday, the South African was quick to recoil in discomfort.
*Clark hasn't played a tournament since the Sony Open in January. Photo by Getty Images
All of this suggests that Clark isn't quite ready to return from a right elbow injury that has had him inactive since the second tournament of the season, especially when considering his wife, Candace, gave birth to the couple's first child on Friday.
And yet, as Clark figured, this isn't any other week. If he withdrew from the Masters, it's not like someone would slip into his spot, so he figured he might as well wait until the last minute to see if he could play.
"I'm not going to be 100 percent, but if you're going to play hurt somewhere, you do it here," said Clark, who is coming off a 2010 season in which he had a breakthrough win at the Players.
So Clark's plan is to at least see how he feels on Thursday morning, when he's scheduled to tee off at 8:51 alongside Vijay Singh and Aaron Baddeley. After hitting balls on Tuesday, he played in the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday, and hasn't been deterred.
"The key is how I feel later. It's a little stiff, but it's not painful," Clark said. "There's a chance I could play."
-- Sam Weinman