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Sunday 26 May 2019

Forced extended break for Pádraig

Pádraig Harrington
Pádraig Harrington

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington will not start his 2019 campaign until February after breaking a bone in his wrist.

Harrington had planned to contest the European Tour events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai later this month, but is now targeting a first appearance of the season at the PGA Tour's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am from February 7-10.

In a statement on his website, the 47-year-old Dubliner wrote: "Over the Christmas period I discovered that I had broken a bone in my wrist.

"I had slipped whilst walking down the stairs at home in mid-December. Whilst it continues to heal, I need to keep it in a splint a little while longer so, frustratingly, I will need to miss the first two planned events of my season in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

"However, I should be fully fit for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am on the PGA Tour in early February."

Harrington is the odds-on favourite to be appointed Europe's Ryder Cup captain for the 2020 contest at Whistling Straits in the near future.

A new year started on the US PGA Tour in Hawaii yesterday at a tournament where the rules will get as much attention as the leaderboard.

A raft of changes came into effect on January 1 in the biggest rewrite of the regulations in decades and will get their first professional test at the Kapalua Plantation course on the island of Maui.

Perhaps the most noticeable change is that players can now leave the pin in while putting. Bryson DeChambeau, who majored in physics at university, turned some heads last year when he said his analysis had determined it was generally advantageous to leave the pin in.

The world number five has not changed his mind in the ensuing few months, though he said there would be one exception.

"It gets tricky when the flag's waving back and forth and I've got a five-footer and shadows," he said. "That's the only time I would pull the flag out. Any time I've got a putt over 10 feet I'll probably be leaving it in, especially if it's uphill."

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