Clark 'trending in right direction' after suffering back injury

Clark 'trending in right direction' after suffering back injury

Wyndham Clark remains hopeful that he will be able to play this week’s Texas Children’s Houston Open after suffering a back injury earlier this week.

Clark said he was in the gym Monday morning when he was “caught in an awkward spot” during an exercise and his “back went.”

Clark said he was in “pretty bad shape” Tuesday and had his team of physical therapists fly into Houston. Initially able to only chip and putt, he progressed to hitting balls and the nine-hole pro-am on Wednesday.

“In just a short time I’ve improved a ton,” he told reporters, “and I think I’ll be ready for tomorrow.”

It’s unfortunate timing for Clark, who has risen to a career-high No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking following back-to-back runner-up finishes to Scottie Scheffler. His most recent start at The Players ended in agonizing fashion, when his 20-footer to force a playoff caught the lip of the cup and horseshoed out.

Clark said he has tried to avoid watching the replay of the miss.

“One time I really looked at it, and I was like, I still can’t believe it didn’t go in,” he said. “I don’t really want to focus on that as a negative. I played awesome that week; I clutched up at the end and hit really good shots on 16, 17 and 18. It’s unfortunate I didn’t make the putts on 16 and 18. All in all, it was an amazing finish. Traditionally, I haven’t played great at the golf course. To come up short, honestly, was a huge success.”

Clark’s pulled muscle earlier this week briefly led him to wonder if he would have to miss his final tuneup start before the Masters, but he said he’s “trending in the right direction" over the past 48 hours.

“I’m going to give it my best effort tomorrow, and hopefully I can play and compete,” he said. “If not, I’ve got to get ready for tournaments to come after this.”