File this under “it was going to happen sooner or later,” although I’m a little surprised by how quickly it has occurred – in his first season as a pro and at age 23, Cameron Champ has WD’d from the Players Championship with a back injury.
I was following his progress yesterday during the second round to see if he could improve on his 78 from Thursday when I glanced at the Leaderboard shortly after posting my piece, to see a WD beside his name.
Champ WDs at The Players with back injury
Cameron Champ’s rough start to 2019 got even worse Friday when he withdrew midway through his second round at The Players becuase of a back injury.
Champ opened with 78 and was 2 over par through eight holes Friday when he pulled out. He had battled back injuries while at Texas A&M.
Champ tweeted later that he was dealing with tightness and spasms in his back and decided against playing through it.
I would think that it’s been bothering him for a while and isn’t just a sudden occurrence based on his post-New Year performances:
The big-hitting Tour rookie turned heads last fall when he won the opposite-field event at the Sanderson Farms and added two other top-10s, but Champ has been unable to carry over that form into the new year – he’s failed to post a single top-25 in seven full-field starts, including a missed cut last week at Bay Hill when he opened with 81.
I thought he might be able to dodge back issues when we saw him swinging with a bit of a leading heel separation four weeks ago:
… but I did still have some concern with his address position vs impact position when I mentioned the shirt-wrinkling in the lower back area (indicating some back contortion even with the separating heel), in that same posting:
When you swing as fast as Cameron does, you really want to have as mechanically-sound a model as possible, because speed and power swingers are especially susceptible to twisting and torquing injuries.
Here’s hoping CC makes the appropriate changes, because with back issues at 23, he’s in Jason Day territory, and I’d say in greater danger as he swings a lot faster than Day does.
There’s nothing good about back issues at any age, but in one’s early 20’s?
Best of luck to the young man!
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