Davis Love to have surgery for neck pain

Davis Love III
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Davis Love III says he wishes he would have dealt with his neck issues five years ago.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Thursday, February 07, 2013 | 12:42 a.m.

Davis Love III plans to have an operation on Friday to deal with problems in his neck that have bothered him for more than a decade.

''I've been working around it and it's been a nagging thing for a long time, '' Love told the Golf Channel. ''The last three months it's been more than a nagging thing, it's just been a constant annoyance and needs to be fixed.''

The 20-time PGA Tour winner hopes to be putting again within five days of the surgery and chipping again after 10 days. He expects to be off the PGA Tour for a total of six to eight weeks to complete his recover and rehabilitation – but he believes the operation could alleviate his neck pain for as long as three to five years.

Love has been dealing with pain, numbness and diminished strength in and around his neck since 2000 as a result of spinal stenosis and joint bone spurs, and had to pull out of both this week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and last week's Waste Management Phoenix Open. He said a visit to a doctor in Scottsdale last week for a third opinion cemented his decision to go ahead with the operation, which he likened to the 2011 procedure that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning had.

Love said he considered holding off on the surgery until after the majors this season, but decided to go ahead. He got a cortisone shot in his neck last week, but still felt uncomfortable when he swung a club.

''It seems like the right time,'' Love told the Golf Channel. ''I wish I had done this five years ago.''