Mahan withdraws at Aussie Open with sore shoulder
Hunter Mahan withdrew Friday morning from the Australian Open
because of soreness behind his right shoulder, raising questions
about whether he can play next week in the Presidents Cup.
Mahan said he fully expects to be play at Royal Melbourne, and
believes he will be ready to go after a few days of rest.
The pain is nothing new, although he said typically it has been
behind the left shoulder. He started feeling pain Wednesday night,
and it gradually improved during his opening round at The Lakes
when he shot 73 while playing with John Daly and Craig Parry.
”It wasn’t great for nine holes, then they came out and popped
my back and it was a little better,” Mahan said. ”It’s just the
rotation. It’s fired up to the point that I can’t get through the
Mahan said he has kept U.S. captain Fred Couples apprised –
Couples also is playing the Australian Open. And while Mahan
expects to be ready for the Presidents Cup, he left some doubt by
saying, ”If Fred has to call, then … .”
That was reference to PGA champion Keegan Bradley, who Couples
has said would be the replacement if any of his players were
Mahan leaves the U.S. team with two players whose health is in
question. Steve Stricker has not played since Sept. 25 at the Tour
Championship because of a neck injury that has weakened his left
Stricker chose not to play at Disney as his tune-up for the
Presidents Cup, instead going to Arizona this week to practice. He
has said he expects to play, and likely will be the partner again
for Tiger Woods. They went 4-0 as a team last year.
Bradley just returned home to Florida after two weeks in
Mahan tried to play Friday morning. He said the pain tends to go
away once he warms up, but that wasn’t the case. Physical
therapists worked on his shoulder, and his shirt was untucked on
the range as he debated playing. Ultimately, he decided it was
better to rest.
”It came on Wednesday night, and Thursday it wasn’t great,”
Mahan said. ”Today was the worst it has been. The more I keep
swinging, the worse it gets. But I don’t see this being a long-term
problem for next week.”