Scott McCarron Grateful to Contend Nine Months after Surgery
Nine months after Scott McCarron had his left foot broken in order to repair two tendons that he tore in the same ankle he’s just happy to be playing golf again at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Following an opening round of 68, McCarron carded a 66 in cold, wet, and windy conditions to move to the top of the leaderboard with Stephen Ames early on day two at Harbor Shores.
“I hit the ball a little bit closer today, and I made some putts. Yesterday I hit the ball pretty well, as well, just wasn't making the putts that I made today,” McCarron said after his round on Friday. “It definitely played a lot longer today and the course being a little bit more wet, and being colder it made it a lot tougher, as well.”
McCarron, who is making his sixth start at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, has twice finished in the top 10 at Harbor Shores. He says the Jack Nicklaus design suits his game well as the Golden Bear often sets up courses that favor his signature fade, which happens to be McCarron’s typical ball flight, too.
“I feel like I can step up, aim down the left-hand side and hit my cut and put it in play,” McCarron said about Harbor Shores. “This has got some really good holes on it, and you've got to be very particular where you're going to hit it into some of these greens because he's got a lot of severe slopes, quadrants. I've just learned this golf course over the last few years, and I really enjoy it. It's a lot of fun to play.”
Friday, the 2017 Senior Players Champion had a lot of fun, something he hasn’t had much since recovering from ankle surgery in August 2021. The injury wasn’t due to any specific activity other than McCarron says he’s always had naturally high arches in his foot, which put added pressure on the tendons on the outside part of his left ankle. The repeated action of swinging a golf club over the last 25 years on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions simply took its toll and the pain got to be too much to bear. In December, he began playing golf again but it was only in the last two weeks that McCarron said he hasn’t been in pain.
“The last couple weeks it's gotten a lot better, and that's kind of what my doctor had said; it's going to take a year, but after seven or eight months you're going to feel a lot better, and I'm starting to feel better now,” McCarron said about his ankle, “and I can start posting off that left side, which I couldn't do at all.”
Friday, the 11-time winner on the PGA Tour Champions, carded eight birdies and two bogey en route to that second round, 66 to overtake first round leader, Steven Alker atop the leaderboard. The magic Alker has shown since joining the PGA Tour Champions last summer faded on Friday as he carded a rare over-par round with a 1-over, 71 to drop back to six-under par for the championship.
Eight birdies on the day puts Scott McCarron at the top of the leaderboard. @KitchenAid_Golf | #SrPGA pic.twitter.com/jpyUKFdhEs— KitchenAid Senior PGA Champ (@seniorpgachamp) May 27, 2022
“It just seemed like I was playing a lot of defensive golf today, especially on the greens,” said Alker about how the course played on Friday. “The wind was a little different, and the rain, just holes played totally different. Couldn't reach the par-5s. Yeah, it was just a different golf course.”