April 23 2011
By Stan Awtrey, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- The tape on his left wrist is a reminder that there’s something wrong, but it isn’t enough to convince Scott Verplank that he can’t still compete under the right circumstances. Consider The Heritage to fall in that category.
Verplank shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday at Harbour Town and stands at 9 under going into the final round, well within striking distance of the title. He is hopeful that his experience on the course (this is his 19 th Heritage) and the increasingly speedy greens (“as fast as they’ve ever been here,” he said) can help level the playing field in his behalf.
As far as the wrist? Well, it’s there.
“I’m literally day-to-day,” Verplank said. “I’ve had good luck in the last month, six weeks of maintaining strength, doing a few different things that I wasn’t doing before and I’m pretty lucky or feel pretty pleased to be here.”
Verplank has a degenerative bone issue in his wrist. He’s tried an assortment of treatments, from cortisone injections to heat and ice, but must deal with the chronic pain. He’s trying to avoid surgery.
“I do not want to have to do anything different than what I’ve done; I do not want to have surgery,” he said. “I don’t want to get old, either.”
Verplank, 46, is looking for his first PGA TOUR victory since the 2007 Byron Nelson Championship. He was in contention at the Shell Houston Open, only to be outgunned by Phil Mickelson in the final round.