Maverick McNealy out until at least fall with shoulder injury

Maverick McNealy out until at least fall with shoulder injury
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The PGA Tour’s top putter is out through at least the FedExCup Playoffs.

Maverick McNealy announced Wednesday afternoon that he is taking a break from competition for a few months to treat a left shoulder injury. He tore the anterior sterno-clavicular ligament in his left shoulder last February, and after a missed cut two weeks ago at the RBC Canadian Open, the 27-year-old Stanford product decided he needed to properly address what had become more than a nagging ailment.

“After a brief period of improvement, it worsened in Canada to the point that I did not think it was a good idea to continue playing,” McNealy said.

McNealy said the injury won’t require surgery, though the rehab will still be extensive. “We are attacking the problem,” he explained, “with physical therapy, biomechanics analysis, golf swing changes and regenerative stem-cell treatments.” He hopes to return in the fall.

“I will be doing my best to take advantage of this time off,” he added, “by pursuing my pilot’s instrument rating, spending time with my friends and family, getting some high-altitude cardio in, and keeping my putting speed dialed.”

McNealy, who ranks No. 1 on Tour in strokes gained putting, got off to a hot start this season, notching six finishes of T-18 or better in his first eight starts. He then withdrew from back-to-back starts, at Pebble Beach and Phoenix, and he’s missed four of his last six cuts while not at 100%.

At No. 87 in FedExCup points, McNealy was not currently in position to qualify for the playoffs, which takes the top 70 players for the first of three postseason events. Should he return in the fall, though, he will still have a chance to keep his card by finishing inside the top 125 following the RSM Classic in mid-November. If he doesn’t, he’ll need a major medical extension.

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