By Jennifer Myers
TERRE HAUTE — The last month has been a tough one for my family. Life in general and golf specifically has been interrupted by injuries. I was out for about three weeks after having torn a tendon in my left calf while playing tennis (note: a big “Thank you!” to Beth Levin and Tia Bennett-Faro, who jumped to my aid immediately with an ice pack and an Ace bandage, that they happened to have handy.)
I was told that it was a tendon that only about 50 percent of people have, and I don’t really need it. It is the tendon that is used, if it’s available, when a pitcher has Tommy John surgery.
For about a week I was unable to walk on my left leg, which made crutches a necessary evil. I mostly avoided going anywhere because crutches hurt my arms so much.
Luckily the injury happened before school had started, so my boys were very helpful, doing laundry and other household chores for me. They even helped at the grocery store. I was back to golf last weekend, although I rode in a cart to avoid stressing my calf too much. Also, my husband is out for the rest of the season with two herniated disks in his neck. He’s been in pain most of the summer, so hopefully he’ll get it taken care of and be able to play golf again next summer.
He’s got something in common with Annika Sorenstam, who missed much of the 2007 season, suffering from a ruptured disk in her neck. She had felt tightness in her neck for most of 2006, almost a pinching sensation, but it got worst this year. Her orthopedist, Bruce Thomas, of MIMA Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine of Melbourne, Fla., attributes the injury to the forces applied to Sorenstam’s neck over many years of swinging a golf club, according to an article in “Golf for Women.”
She withdrew from the Ginn Open in mid-April after feeling shooting pains down her right arm and numbness in her thumb. She consulted with a neurologist but didn’t have surgery because she would have missed the rest of the season. Instead, she went through intensive rehab with a physical therapist to restore mobility in her neck. Several times a day she’d use a cervical traction unit with a hand-held pump to create space between the vertebrae and take pressure off the offending disk.
She made it back to the tour in seven weeks, in time to play in her own tournament, the Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika, in early June. She will lead the European team in the Solheim Cup in her homeland of Sweden, in a couple of weeks.
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n U.S. Solheim Team announced — After the LPGA’s State Farm Classic in Springfield, Illinois, completed last weekend, the United State’s Solheim Cup captain, Betsy King, announced her team members for the upcoming bi-annual event to be held Sept. 14-16 at Halmstad Golf klubb in Halmstad, Sweden. The automatic team qualifiers, in order of the points standings, are 1) Paula Creamer, 2) Cristie Kerr, 3) Morgan Pressel, 4) Julie Inkster, 5) Stacy Prammanasudh, 6) Pat Hurst, 7) Natalie Gulbis, 8) Brittany Lincicome 9) Angela Stanford, and 10) Sherri Steinhauer. The two captain’s picks are Nicole Castrale and Laura Diaz, who finished 11th and 14th respectively, round out the team.
For the European side, team captain Helen Alfredsson had three captain’s picks to go with nine automatic qualifiers, and two of the three are from Sweden, giving the fans multiple choices of players to cheer (very loudly) for! The qualifiers (and their country of origin) are: Gwladys Nocera (France), Trish Johnson (England), Bettina Hauert (Germany), Laura Davies (England), Becky Brewerton (Wales), Annika Sorenstam (Sweden), Suzann Pettersen (Norway), Catriona Matthew (Scotland), and Sophie Gustafson (Sweden). The three captain’s picks are Maria Hjorth (Sweden), Iben Tinning (Denmark), and Linda Wessberg (Sweden). After the drubbing Paula Creamer gave Laura Davies at the last Solheim Cup at Crooked Stick, she’s a marked woman over in Sweden. She’s got the game to hold her own though, if she doesn’t allow the crowd noise to get to her! This is a strong United States team with very talented youngsters and some strong veterans that will be able to keep them spirited yet well-grounded. It should be a great Solheim Cup match-up.
The Golf Channel will air the Solheim Cup live, which means the middle of the night for us, and then will re-air the event on Saturday and Sunday.
n And on to the playoffs… — By skipping The Barclays last week, Tiger Woods slipped from first place to fourth, almost 5,000 points behind Steve Stricker, who won the event. He’s not out of it though, by any means. It’s even possible for him to come in second in the remaining events and still win the FedExCup. He’d rather take the wins though. But that’s just Tiger being Tiger.
Quote of the Day: “I know I’ve slipped in the standings, but there’s plenty of points out there and I’m just going to go out there and get some Ws. It makes things pretty exciting coming down to the last few weeks.”
— Tiger Woods, on his standing in the FedExCup.
Jennifer Myers can be reached at email@example.com.