HORSFIELD RETURNS TO MAJESTICKS LINEUP AFTER HIP SURGERY
SUGAR GROVE, III. - The last time LIV Golf fans saw Sam Horsfield inside the ropes, he was hobbling out on one leg to celebrate Chase Koepka's dramatic ace at the Watering Hole in the final round at LIV Golf Adelaide in April.
Horsfield had played the first two rounds in Australia, but his bothersome right hip finally gave way after the second round. Having enjoyed his playing experience at the party hole enclosed by grandstands, he wanted to see what it was like from a fan’s perspective. So he popped out to watch Majesticks GC teammate Ian Poulter, who happened to be in Koepka’s group.
Two minutes later, Horsfield was limp-sprinting to offer congratulations and high-fives to his good friend Koepka.
“My first natural reaction was to go crazy,” Horsfield said. “Then I saw the video later and thought, ‘Oh my god, what an idiot.’”
Horsfield laughed at the memory Tuesday while taking a break during his practice session at LIV Golf Chicago. This week marks his return to active duty as a member of the Majesticks, as he’s missed the last seven tournaments of the 2023 League season.
Horsfield underwent surgery soon after Adelaide to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. He also had a piece of bone shaved from the hip, and also addressed the cyst growing on top of it. The problem had lingered for a long time, but the 26-year-old English native tried to play through it. Ultimately, surgery was required in early May, forcing Horsfield to the sideline, with reserve player Laurie Canter taking his spot in the Majesticks lineup.
“The day after surgery, I felt better than I did beforehand,” Horsfield said. “I knew I made the right decision. It’s just been a long 4-1/2, 5 months.”
During his extended absence, Horsfield stayed in touch with his Majesticks teammates, which includes Poulter and fellow co-captains Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson. They offered much-welcomed encouragement, advice and support on how to deal with injuries. Horsfield also watched the broadcast stream of every single LIV Golf round. At LIV Golf London, he visited the Centurion Course and walked nine holes with his team during a practice round.
“Nice to see the boys but it was torture for myself,” Horsfield said. “I just wanted to grab a club and play. It sucked. But I used that week as part of my rehab to walk.”
Horsfield received the go-ahead to fully practice three weeks ago, and he’s also managed a few rounds at his home base in Orlando. He wasn’t specifically trying to make a push to return before the end of the season, but he’s glad his body responded in a positive manner to allow him to play.
He feels good about his swing, too. Not only is he pain-free, but by eliminating the hip problems, his lower body is moving more fluid. “My body is moving way differently,” he said. “I can actually load and turn my right hip instead of bumping it.”
He’ll start this week 42nd in points, but he’s guaranteed status for next season due to injury exemption. So the final three tournaments of this season (and perhaps a few more starts, including the International Series’ Hong Kong Open in November) will allow him to shake the rust off, get back into a groove and set a benchmark for areas to work on during the offseason. And of course, contribute as much as possible to a Majesticks GC team still seeking its first podium result of the season.
‘I’ve got a lot of things to work on,” he said.
What he doesn’t have this week, though, is expectations.
“None,” he said. “But for not playing golf, I feel like my game’s in good shape. When I swing, it feels good. Hopefully, I’ll play well but just to make it three days pain-free is what I’m really most looking for.”
And for the first time since Adelaide, another party hole is set for Rich Harvest Farms this week in Chicago. If Horsfield gets the opportunity to celebrate again, he won’t have to hobble this time.