Back injury sidelines Streelman on the PGA Tour

Wheaton’s Kevin Streelman has been the Chicago area’s most successful PGA Tour player since joining the circuit in 2008, and has $26.7 milllion in career winnings to show for it. This season, though, hasn’t started well.

Now 45, Streelman has been one of the circuit’s most durable players but this season started with missed cuts at the Sony Open and American Express Championship. Last week’s  Farmer’s Insurance Open was even more painful however.

Streelman shot 71 in the first round, then withdrew. He later tweeted that he had “strained something in my lower back badly.’’ The injury happened when he hit a wedge shot out of heavy rough. He won’t be playing in this week’s AT & T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the next stop on the West Coast swing.  That’s an event Streelman has played well in. He finished inside the top 20 as an individual every year since 2016 and was the runner-up in 2020.

He also teamed with football player Larry Fitzgerald to win the team title in 2018 and 2020, leading Streelman to call Pebble Beach “my favorite stop on tour.’’

Streelman lives in the Phoenix area now.  “I hope to rest for a week and hopefully be 100 percent for the Waste Management (Phoenix Open). One of the most popular tournaments on tour, it’s two weeks away.

HARDY’S HOT: Northbrook’s Nick Hardy is off to the best start of the Chicago connected players.  He made the cut in all three of his starts, the best finish being a tie for 37th at the Farmer’s Insurance Open last week.  He’s in the field at Pebble Beach.

Arlington Heights’ Doug Ghim had missed cuts in his first two starts but bounced back with a tie for 13th at the Farmer’s. He didn’t enter the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

LIV GETS GOING: The LIV Tour, which added Masters champion Jon Rahm to its roster for its third season, opens its 14-tournament campaign in Mexico on Friday. Rahm also brings in his own team, with Tyrrell Hatton the most notable of the other three members. That’ll boost the field from 12 to 13 teams.

LIV shifted its pre-Masters tourney from Florida to Trump Doral in Florida in March, leaving Chicago’s chances of having an event this season in serious jeopardy.  Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Grove, hosted tournaments in the fledgling circuit’s first two campaigns and owner Jerry Rich invited the tour back for 2024 but the invitation hasn’t been accepted yet.  The only hopes left are for Rich Harvest to be picked for one of LIV’s two season-ending events in September. No sites have been announced for those.

SHOW TIME: The Chicago Golf Show returns to the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont Feb. 23-25.  Show hours will be noon-6 p.m. on Feb. 23, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. On Feb. 24 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m.on Feb. 25.  Tickets are $7 for adults and youth 16 and over on Friday and $12 on the weekend days.  Rates will be $4 on the weekend for youth 12-15 and there’ll be free admission for those 11 and under.

PGA SHOW AFTERMATH: Two frequent winners in International Network of Golf contests – John Iacono of Zero Friction and David Glod of club manufacturer Tour Edge – were successful again in the ING Industry Awards presented Thursday at the 71st PGA Show in Orlando, FL.

Both Chicago area companies were honored in the Product Ingenuity categories, Iacono for his just-introduced Stride remote control golf bag and Glod for his company’s latest driver model.

The ING Media Awards were also announced, with Steve Kashul’s Golf Scene topping the television show category.  The Chicago area also had four Outstanding Achievers in the Media Awards – Dave Lockhart (TV show), Ed Sherman (features), Rory Spears  (radio) and Len Ziehm (features).