Freak injury hits Padraig Harrington

A freak injury caused by an amateur golfer has forced Padraig Harrington to withdraw from this week's FedEx St Jude Classic tournament, the Irish star said on Tuesday.

Harrington, 45, was left needing stitches after being struck by a player he was coaching, he revealed on Twitter.

"I was hit on the elbow with a practice swing by an amateur I was coaching at an outing," Harrington wrote.

"Thankfully nothing was broken, just 6 stitches. I thought it was the end of me playing competitive golf."

Harrington said he expected to be sidelined for 12 days to allow the stitches to heal.

"There's no truth in the rumour that it was the amateur's best strike of the day," joked Harrington, who was not due to be playing at next week's US Open at Erin Hills.

Harrington, a three-time major winner, reached a career-high world ranking of No.3 in 2008 but is now ranked 204th in the world.