Back injury forces Shaw to postpone 2015 Challenge Tour start

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A stubborn back injury has forced Gareth Shaw out of this week’s Challenge Tour event, the Barclays Kenya Open.
The 28-year-old had hoped to made his seasonal bow in Nairobi but hasn’t managed to shake off the injury he sustained a month ago at a pre-season warm-up in Portugal.
“I flew out to Portugal to play in a couple of Algarve Pro-Tour events simply to get a bit of warm weather golf but I couldn’t even manage nine holes on the opening day of practice,” said the Upper Ballinderry based golfer.
“I don’t know how I did it. The only thing I can think of is that I have a new Srixion bag and maybe I lifted it differently? Who knows? It’s very weird and annoying.
“It only hurts when I try and hit golf shots, low and on the left hand side.”
After a positive 2013 which included a fifth place finish at the Irish Open, Gareth failed to press on in 2014 [his best result was an eighth place at Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge in France]. He finished 89th in the Challenge Tour rankings and failed to make it through the second stage of European Tour qualifying.
He was in positive mood before heading out to Portugal but has been knocked back by the injury, admitting that he has struggled to cope with the enforced lay-off.
“It’s hard enough to be competitive out there but I haven’t been able to do any real practice so I don’t know how my game is. When I do get back, I’ll just have to roll with it and see how it goes,” said Gareth who recently signed a sponsorship deal with Castledawson firm, Essential Designs.

“I got an MRI scan which came back clear which is obviously good news so it is just a matter of being patient and obviously it is hard to be patient when the weather is quite nice and the season is supposed to be getting started.

“It is a new experience for me to be injured and I have to be honest and say that I haven’t handled it very well. I saw too many different physiotherapists and was told different things so it scrambled my head. At the end of the day I simply have to rest it.”
The next target for Gareth is the Challenge de Madrid schedule for April 22-15.
In his absence, Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin), the 2014 Irish PGA Champion and Ruaidhri McGee (Rosapenna) fly the flag for Ireland at the event.

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