Date: February 24, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Back injury halts Percy run

Melbourne’s Cam Percy has suffered an abrupt end to arguably his best run on the US PGA Tour.

Percy, 42, in his 20th year as a professional, walked off midway through his first round at the PGA National’s Champion Course as the Honda Classic began in Florida today.

He cited a back injury and immediately withdrew. No further information was available from the Tour, but Percy later tweeted that he just "couldn't handle the pain any more".

Percy, playing with only limited PGA Tour status, has missed just one cut this season and is already well on his way to earning back full playing rights for next season at 104th in the FedEx Cup standings.

And, after a “tough love” lesson from Australian Olympic coach Ian Baker-Finch recently, Percy’s T10 finish at Pebble Beach earnt him a start in last week’s Genesis Open at Riviera where he was among the leaders after a superb opening 66 before fading to finish T49.

Percy’s best finish on the main tour was his playoff loss to Jonathan Byrd’s hole-in-one in the 2010 Shriners Open, but with almost $US287,529 already banked in the 2017 season, his hopes had been high to take that extra step during this campaign.

The Victorian veteran opened with a bogey on the 10th today, then wiped out a bogey on the tough 17th with a birdie on the 18th to turn in one over.

A bogey on the second hole dropped him to two over and Percy walked off after his tee shot on the third.

There were mixed results for the other Aussies in Florida with Marc Leishman leading the way at three under in a share of 12th, just three off the pace of Cody Gribble and former trick shot artist Wes Bryan.

Adam Scott began his title defence with a two-under-par 70, one ahead of fellow Queenslander John Senden.

Greg Chalmers is even par, Brett Drewitt is two over and Steve Bowditch is five over after the first round.