Harrington feared for his career after freak accident

Padraig Harrington has withdrawn from this week’s FedEx St Jude Classic after being struck on the elbow while coaching an amateur golfer

THREE-TIME major winner Padraig Harrington has revealed how he feared for his career after being struck on the elbow by an amateur during a coaching session.

Harrington, who has played just seven events in 2017 after undergoing surgery on a trapped nerve in his neck in March, has withdrawn from this week's FedEx St Jude Classic after the freak accident which left him needing six stitches.

The 45-year-old wrote on his personal website: "Yesterday I picked up an elbow injury at a golf outing in Washington DC.

"Whilst coaching an amateur golfer on how to cure his hook, I stepped in close to demonstrate the action for a fade, but as I was stepping away he continued to swing and caught me flush on the elbow.

"My initial thought was that the elbow was shattered and it was the end to my competitive playing career. I nearly fainted with the pain and shock.

"I applied ice to the elbow within seconds and also compressed it to minimise any inflammation. After an X-ray at the hospital I was delighted to learn that it wasn't broken, but it still required 6 deep stitches.

"I have been advised to be cautious and it will need 10 - 12 days for the stitches to heal, so I have been forced to withdraw from this week's FedEx St Jude Classic tournament in Memphis."

Harrington had initially relayed news of the incident on Twitter and joked: "There's no truth in the rumour that it was the amateur's best strike of the day fesjcmemphis PGATOUR."

Since returning to action following neck surgery, Harrington had missed the cut in the BMW PGA Championship and also failed to secure a place in next week's US Open via the 36-hole qualifier at Walton Heath. He then finished in a tie for 31st in the Memorial Tournament last week.

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