LIVINGSTON-BASED Chris Doak has broken his silence over the nightmare run that has put his European Tour future in doubt.
The 37-year-old has now failed to finish his last four events after retiring following the first hole in the second round of the £3 million British Masters at Woburn.
“It’s a nerve problem in the left arm, which leads to my little finger and the one next to it going numb,” said Doak, having started with a triple-bogey 7. “That means I’ve lost nearly half my left-hand grip on the club.”
The problem also forced him to retire in the European Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the past fortnight. Before that, Doak had been disqualified in the Italian Open for mistakenly disqualifying himself for thinking he had played the wrong type of ball.
Initially, Doak wanted to keep his injury problem quiet, but he decided to speak about it to be fair to tournament sponsors and organisers by explaining what it is.
“It started on the Saturday of the Italian Open a month ago when I woke up and was sleeping with one arm under my body,” added the former Tartan Tour No.1. “The physios have been great, but the only cure is rest and time, and I don’t have time because of my position in the Race to Dubai.”
That was reference to the fact he came into this event – the third last one of the regular season – sitting 159th in the Race to Dubai and needing to climb into the top 110 to hang on to his card.
“I’ve got to play,” declared Doak, who has next week’s Portugal Masters then the Hong Kong Open the week after that to save the day. “I hate to walk off the course after taking 7 at the first, but I’ve got to go to Portugal next week and give it a go.
“I’m not even in the top 145 for the final of the Q School, so I’m looking like having to go to the second stage, which is the week after Hong Kong, because I wouldn’t have a category and would have to depend on a few invitations next season.”
Three off the lead, Marc Warren (65-71) heads into the weekend as leading Scot on six-under, five ahead of Cockburnspath’s David Drysdale, who birdied the 18th for the second-day running in his two-under-par 69.