Golf

"My arm was purple from the shoulder down to the finger-tips" - Troy Merritt

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

04:43 17 Sep 2019


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PGA Tour golfer Troy Merritt's been in Ireland for the last couple of days and gave a Golf Masterclass at Dun Laoghaire.

Before he heads back to the US to continue his season, the Idaho native joined us in studio.

The 33-year-old has won twice on the PGA Tour, including at the Barbasol Championship in 2018.

But barely days after that achievement, he had to undergo emergency surgery to remove a blood clot.

He explained exactly what happened to Richie McCormack.

Excruciating Pain

"Summer 2018, I had played all summer, not being able to raise my left arm over my head without being in excruciating pain" he said.

"It would swell up, come down, swell up, come down and I had to keep playing to try and keep my card because I was just outside the Top 125.

"When I won Barbasol, I could barely lift it at all. But I could make a golf swing. It would hurt but I could swing it.

 

"After I won in Canada, my wife made me go and see the doctor when I got home and they diagnosed me with a rather large blood clot, running down my chest down to my left elbow. So I had that removed. I was somehow able to play the PGA Tour Championship the week after that."

It had become apparent that it needed to be looked at.

"By the time I got home that week, my arm had doubled in size," Merritt said.

"It was purple from the shoulder down to the finger-tips. My wife finally said, 'You need to go in and see the doctor.' I said, 'Honey, it's the PGA Championship next week, I think I can give it a go'. But she said, 'No, you really need to go.' And I'm glad she did."

Rib Removal

But that wasn't the end of it either for Merritt. He was then diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

"Typically, Major League Baseball pitchers over in the States get that more often than more people," he explained.

"Basically, it's the top rib and the clavicle are too close together. In my case, it pinched the vein and caused a blood clot. So instead of being on blood thinners for the rest of my life, I opted to have that top rib taken out to open up that space."

He explained how the rib removal has affected his golf game since.

"As a result, I have my best ball-striking year of my career," he revealed.

Troy Merritt also discussed who he voted for as PGA Tour Player of the Year and also revealed what bothers him most on course.
You can watch the full Troy Merritt interview above via our YouTube channel.


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