Golf

Padraig Harrington to undergo neck surgery in bid to be fit for Open at Birkdale

Padraig Harrington will undergo neck surgery in the hope of being fit for this year's Open at Birkdale
By Phil Casey, Press Association Sport Golf Correspondent

THREE-TIME major winner Padraig Harrington has opted to undergo neck surgery in a bid to be fit for the Open's return to Royal Birkdale in July.

Harrington had hoped to avoid going under the knife after suffering from a trapped nerve since the end of last season, but announced his decision on social media on Tuesday.

The 45-year-old, who became the first European to make a successful defence of the Open since James Braid in 1906 at Birkdale in 2008, wrote on Twitter: "Sorry I'm missing out on honouring Arnold Palmer's legacy at the APinv this week.

"But I'm going to have neck surgery on a trapped nerve between C6and C7. Looks like I'll be out for 8 to 10 weeks.Targeting a comeback at the Memorial in May."

Speaking last month, Harrington had expressed concern about the potential timescale for his recovery.

"The only issue I have is if I delay surgery, thinking I'm getting better, and then I end up having to have surgery in May or something like that," he said.

"That would be a disaster to miss out on Birkdale and miss out on the PGA (Championship) as well, during the summer."

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