Wyndham Clark fights through back injury suffered during warm-up

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LOS ANGELES – As if a hard and fast Riviera Country Club and wind gusts to 35 mph weren’t enough of a challenge, Wyndham Clark began the third round of the Genesis Invitational with one eye on the exit.

“I almost withdrew before we played, but I just told my caddie, ‘Hey, let’s just see what we can do out there,’” said Clark, who tweaked a muscle in his back while warming up.

Clark birdied the first hole before officials halted play because of the high winds. Turns out, the four-hour delay was exactly what he needed.

“I don’t know if [getting treatment] was the right thing to do, but it is what it is right now,” said Clark, who was tied for third place at 7 under par and just three shots off the lead. “I’m hoping that some rest and maybe some more work on it tonight, we’ll be able to go tomorrow, because it would be hard to do this again tomorrow, so hopefully I can get it OK.”

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Clark withdrew from last summer’s Rocket Mortgage Classic with a back injury, yet on Saturday he was confident it was just a strained muscle. That didn’t make his day any easier, though. During his warm-up he said he was hitting his 7-iron 120 yards. It’s normally his 180-yard club.

“It just is so tight and it’s really hard for me to turn, but as I come through, I mean, I’m like trying as hard as I can to do whatever I can to hit the ball,” he said. “I don’t have all my power and I kind of save it up and then I hit it as hard as I can on a shot and then relax and then do it again.”