The Players Championship was a trying week for all the golfers in the field with heavy rain and high winds forcing several delays at TPC Sawgrass in mid-March. However, Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., was having the best tournament of his PGA Tour career, sitting in a group tied for fifth after two rounds.
He was warming up for the second part of his third round — it had to be split up between the Sunday and Monday because of the weather — when he felt a twinge in his back.
"I felt the pain when I was warming up and that was initially the pain that I felt," said Pendrith, who gutted out a round and a half to tie for 13th. "It just never got better. I went and got an MRI and thought it was going to be some sort of muscle thing.
"The report was a broken rib, which was pretty wild. I did not expect that."
Doctors initially told Pendrith that the fractured rib would take 10-12 weeks to heal, although he and his wife Meg thought it would be faster. It wasn't.
The Players Championship wrapped up on March 14 and Pendrith hasn't played a single round of PGA Tour golf since. He had originally targeted a return for the PGA Championship on May 19, then the RBC Canadian Open on June 6, and then the Travelers Championship on June 23.
"I had tried to come back a couple times and I just wasn't ready yet," said Pendrith, who added that he resumed hitting balls four days before the Canadian Open. "I just didn't want to re-break the rib and be out for longer so I was really taking it slow.
"Ultimately, I think it was a good decision to take a couple more weeks off."
Pendrith will tee it up at the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., on Thursday. He'll be in a group with Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., and Brian Stuard of the United States.
"I've been hitting balls for probably two and a half, three weeks now and have no issues," said Pendrith on Wednesday. I'm getting back into my routines and doing what I used to do week in and week out and just trying to figure it out.
"It's still got a little bit of rust and may have some competitive rust to shake off but the body feels good."
Despite missing more than three months of the PGA Tour season, Pendrith's positions in the FedEx Cup standings and the official world golf rankings have not suffered too much. He was 53rd in the FedEx Cup standings after the Players Championship and 192nd in the OWGR.
He's now 107th and 248th, respectively.
"I watch (the FedEx Cup standings) every single week because I'm curious about how much I'm going to drop." said Pendrith, whose standing was partly maintained because several golfers defected to the rival LIV Golf Invitational and were removed from the PGA Tour's rankings.
"I'm back now, starting up this week, and I'm still in a really good position. So a couple strong finishes in the remainder of the season and I can hopefully move up. Honestly, just to be back is a win. I'm just going to enjoy this week and see how it goes."
Nick Taylor, also from Abbotsford, David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., Michael Gligic of Burlington, Ont., are also in the field at the John Deere Classic.
KORN FERRY TOUR — Toronto's Albin Choi and Vancouver's Stuart Macdonald are in the field at this week's The Ascendant presented by Blue. The tournament is at TPC Colorado in Berthoud. Choi is the top-ranked Canadian on the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour, sitting at 113th and Macdonald is ranked 120th.
PGA TOUR CANADA — Edmonton's Wil Bateman is still No. 1 in the Fortinet Cup standings after last week's Elk Ridge Open in Saskatchewan was cancelled due to heavy rainfall. He'll be joined by 33 other Canadians at this week's Prince Edward Island Open at Dundarave Golf Club in Cardigan, P.E.I. Myles Creighton of Digby, N.S., jumps to the PGA Tour Canada after tying for 10th at the Bupa Tour Championship, the finale of the Latinoamerica Tour, on Sunday.
SHAW CLASSIC — The Shaw Charity Classic announced that World Golf Hall of Fame members Vijay Singh and Mark O’Meara will be joining Canadians Mike Weir and Stephen Ames in the field in Calgary. PGA Tour greats Billy Andrade and Scott Verplank have also signed up for the event scheduled Aug. 1-7.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 29, 2022.
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press