In a week where the injury to Tiger Woods has dominated discussions, spare a thought for Australian Marcus Fraser who almost didn’t return to golf after a neck injury late last year.
Marcus Fraser won the prestigious Ballantines Championship in South Korea last year beating some big names and grabbing over half a million dollars in the process. As the defending champion, he was asked to help make a special edition Ballantines whisky for the event, but he almost didn’t make his spot in the field.
Fraser revealed to the European Tour site that he sustained a freak neck injury after lifting his son above his head at the Australian Open last year.
“I saw the physios at the tournament and just worked on it at the Australian Open, the PGA the following week and probably shouldn’t have played.
“I kept playing and probably shouldn’t have. And over Christmas it just deteriorated, I went and saw the sports physician and he referred me to a surgeon and had an MRI and it showed the disc had prolapsed.
“So then it just kept going downhill and had a couple of days where I couldn’t walk and lost all the use of my right arm.
“Lost all the feeling in my right hand, and then the surgeon took one look at me and said: ‘We’ll do it in two days’ time’. So he operated and after that, it was pain free the next day.
“If I had not had the operation, I would never have played golf again and probably would have lost the use of my right arm. Kind of need your arm for golf.”
As Fraser is an avid go-karter, I’d assumed his injury was as a result of a crash, but either way he’s lucky to be walking around let alone defending his victory this week.
The Ballantine’s Championship is now underway at the Blackstone Golf Club, Icheon, South Korea.