1. Rory McIlroy – Ruptured ankle ligaments
The four-time major winner missed the defence of his Open title at St Andrews in 2015 after rupturing his left ankle ligaments playing football with friends. He returned to action six weeks later at the US PGA Championship.
2. Jamie Donaldson – Almost chopped finger off
Yes, while enjoying some time away from the course, the 2014 Ryder Cup hero ‘got in a fight with a chainsaw’. The Welshman needed several stitches in the little finger of his left hand and was out for two weeks.
3. John Daly – Fractured ribs
Up until last year, Daly was still pursuing legal action for an incident at the 2007 Honda Classic. A female spectator jumped in front of him to take his picture. He said he tried to stop his swing, hit behind the ball, and fractured two ribs and separated his right shoulder, negatively impacting on his career.
4. Jose Maria Olazabal – Broken hand
After shooting a five-over-par 75 in the first round of the 1999 US Open at Pinehurst, Olazabal punched a wall in his hotel room and broke a bone in his hand, resulting in his withdrawal from the tournament.
5. Colin Montgomerie – Injured hand
Monty was forced out of the 2003 Open at Royal St George’s in the opening round after a freak hand injury caused by tripping over a step at breakfast. “I couldn't believe it was raining and as I looked up I tripped over a step and fell nastily,” he said. His hand was swollen, but nothing was broken.
6. Oliver Wilson – Broken wrist
The 2008 Ryder Cup player was forced out of the 2013 Dubai Desert Classic. Why? Because he broke his wrist after slipping to avoid what he called on Twitter a ‘deadly snowball’.
7. Miguel Angel Jimenez – Broken leg
The Spaniard was in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Spain in late 2012 when he broke his right leg in a fall. “I lost control and fell,” Jiménez said. “I felt a huge stab of pain and I knew straight away I had broken something.”
8. Thomas Levet – Broken shin
After winning his home French Open in 2011, Levet jumped in the lake by the 18th hole at Le Golf National and broke his shin. However, he was back in action just eight weeks later.
9. Graeme McDowell – Slammed hand in door
Allegedly, G-Mac sleepwalks. At least that’s how he explained a freak hand injury in China, where he jammed it in a door. “I woke up out of this dream, standing in a hotel-room door, in my boxer shorts, and three seconds later I had the most searing pain in my right hand,” he said. “I have no idea what happened.”
10. Richard Boxall – Broken leg
During the third round of the 1991 Open, Boxall broke his leg while just two strokes off the 36-hole lead. “I hit 1-iron and as I did there was this noise like a sack of potatoes splitting and I screamed and collapsed,” he said.
11. Paul Casey – Dislocated shoulder
The Englishman dislocated his right shoulder while snowboarding in Colorado in January 2012. He didn’t need surgery but did end up being sidelined for the first two months of the year.
12. Lucas Glover – Sprained knee
The 2009 US Open winner was forced to pull out of the season-opening Tournament of Champions in 2012 after suffering a sprained knee while paddleboarding in the ocean.
13. Sandy Lyle – ‘Cold hands’
The Scot quit the 2008 Open after just ten holes as wind and heavy rain at Royal Birkdale took its toll. Lyle cited ‘cold hands’ as the reason after being 11-over-par after nine holes. Peter Dawson was unimpressed, saying: “It is disappointing. I have to say professional golfers should complete a round. That is what they are paid to do."
14. Ernie Els – Ruptured knee ligaments
In 2005, Els was on a tube being towed by a speedboat in the Mediterranean and ended up rupturing ligaments in his left knee. As a result, the Big Easy was ruled out for the rest of the season.