Fraser to defend after freak injury

Ballantine's Championship preview

Wed, 27 Apr 2011

Marcus Fraser suffered a freak accident while playing with his son four months ago, but is fit enough to return to action and defend his Ballantine’s Championship title.

The 32-year-old came dangerously close to losing all use of his right arm, after slipping a disc in his neck.

“I picked up my son over my head and felt something go in my neck last December,” explained the Australian. “I thought nothing of it and continued to play golf which I probably shouldn’t have and over Christmas, it just deteriorated.

“I was referred to a surgeon who did a MRI scan on me and it showed that the disc had prolapsed. It just kept going downhill and there were a couple of days where I couldn’t walk and lost all the feeling in my right hand.

“The surgeon took one look at me and said that he’ll have to operate on me.”

The operation may have saved his career, but Fraser will be up against it at Blackstone Golf Club, near Seoul in South Korea.

“I had a week’s practice before I came up,” he added. “That’s not really enough to compete, but it’s just nice to be out there playing again and hopefully get some strength back in it pretty quick and get back to full health.”

The Blackstone field will be headlined by Lee Westwood, who returned to World No.1 after his Indonesian Masters win, Ian Poulter, Ernie Els and Dustin Johnson.

Ballantine’s Championship

Blackstone Golf Club, Icheon, South Korea

Thursday April 28 to Sunday May 1

The Course
Par-72; 7,275 yards

€2,205,000 (winner: €367,500)

Defending Champion
Marcus Fraser (-12) *

Tournament Record
264 (-24) by Graeme McDowell and Jeev Milkha Singh in 2008 **

Live Coverage
Thursday: Sky Sports 1 from 6am
Friday: Sky Sports 1 from 6am
Saturday: Sky Sports 1 from 4am
Sunday: Sky Sports 1 from 6am

* Tournament reduced to 54 holes due to poor weather conditions.
** Graeme McDowell won in a playoff.



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