Newest medical venture for Davis Love III: A new left hip


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ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – At 53, Davis Love III says he wants to be the oldest player to ever win on the PGA Tour. Sam Snead won in Greensboro in 1965 at 52, and Love, who won in Greensboro at age 51 (third oldest), would love to own that mark.

Unfortunately, that quest will have to be put on hold – again. Love, who has battled a variety of injuries over the last decade, confirmed Sunday evening that he is headed to surgery once more. He is scheduled to get a left hip replacement on Tuesday.

He’d declined to say anything about it during the RSM Classic, which he hosts, so that he didn’t steal any attention from the tournament. Love was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in September; if there is such thing as a Medical Patient Hall of Fame, he soon may get that call, too.

“After the Sanderson,” Love said, referring to last month’s PGA Tour stop in Jackson, Miss., “I told someone I thought I’d torn my left labrum. I’m good at diagnosing myself. So I had it looked it, and was told, ‘You don’t have any choice.’”

The diagnosis: Left hip replacement.

Love has come back from neck fusion surgery (the type from which quarterback Peyton Manning returned to play), a foot injury, a broken collarbone (incurred while snowboarding), and most recently, a displaced thumb (from paddle boarding).

Love’s longtime manager and friend, Mac Barnhart, likes to joke that Love has perfected the art of rehab, getting started right away and spending minimal time on the sideline. Love said he has bounced back from injuries and played well, and remains encouraged by that.

Love said the normal time for recovery for a golfer who has his hip replaced would be three or four months. He already has targeted late February, and the PGA Tour’s Florida Swing, for his return. But don’t be surprised if he’s back a little earlier.

“It’s bone-healing,” Love said. “You have to let those bones heal up. Though I’d really hate to miss Pebble Beach (in early February) …”


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