Playing alongside Geoff Ogilvy and overnight co-leader Jason Scrivener at Royal Queensland, Herbert was struggling with his back early in the week ahead of his fortnight of big event golf at home.
With his team on site in Brisbane, Herbert opened with a one-over 72 on Thursday but was clearly struggling as he made the turn having started on the 10th just after 6am on the second day.
Speaking with his movement coach Simone Tozer, this publication learned that it was Herbert’s lower back causing him trouble with the Victorian immediately heading for treatment after reportedly trying valiantly to play on through the pain including with the assistance of anti-inflammatory medication. The decision to withdraw clearly to protect against more significant injury.
“I twinged my back this morning on the range. I lost a lot of power in my swing,” Herbert said. “I tried everything I could to get going, I really wanted to keep playing and try and finish and make the cut and work my way up on the weekend. But I was getting told by people much smarter than me that I should give it some rest and allow it to recover for next week, that potentially I could do some damage longer-term. It’s annoying, because I don’t think I’ve pulled out of atournament mid-round.
“I’ll do everything I can to get right for next week.”