SOUTHPORT, England — Sergio Garcia thought his British Open might be over after hurting his right shoulder angrily swinging a club into shrubs on the fourth hole at Royal Birkdale on Friday.
The Masters champion clutched his shoulder after the incident and took a painkiller on the fifth tee. He spoke with a medical official on the seventh hole and his shoulder still felt sore at the end of his second round.
"Obviously, I’m not happy about it," Garcia said, "because I almost screwed up my British Open."
The shoulder problem didn’t affect his power. Garcia drove the green on the 346-yard fifth hole and made eagle, and wound up shooting a 1-under 69 in gusty conditions. He was 2 over for the tournament.
Garcia said he was frustrated after sending his tee shot at the par-3 4th to the back left of the green near some bushes. He didn’t have a full back swing and could only jab his second shot short of the green.
After taking his shot, Garcia looked behind him and swung his club into the shrubs. He grabbed his shoulder immediately with his left hand and grimaced with pain. He made bogey.
"I hit (the shrubs) backwards, it was a very weak position, and it felt like the muscles went on top of each other," Garcia said. "So it didn’t feel good at all.
"Sometimes you are out there and you are trying your hardest. When you can’t do it, you get frustrated. We’ve all had this."
Garcia said he played the fifth hole not knowing if he’d be able to finish his round.
He will see a physio later Friday and get some work done on his shoulder.
Garcia played the 14 holes after his club rage in 1 under. He was one of only four players in the first 18 three-man groups to break par Friday.