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Golf star’s career almost ended by a sneeze before she battled back to claim maiden title

Mirror 24/11/2022 Joshua Lees

LPGA Tour star Jodi Ewart Shadoff almost ended her career because of a sneeze, before securing her maiden title on the circuit last month. Ewart Shadoff finally got her hands on an LPGA Tour crown after seeing off the likes of Yuka Saso, Danielle Kang and fellow English star Georgia Hall to claim the Medihal Championship in October.

Her win in California capped off a quite remarkable career turnaround, having suffered with back and herniated disc problems. The English star has been an ever-present on the LPGA, but her battles with her fitness have often prevented her from getting into the winners' circle.

The wait for a win comes no more though following her one shot victory at The Saticoy Club, and since then Ewart Shadoff has revealed the struggles she went through to get to this stage.

Speaking on the Sky Sports Golf podcast, the 34-year-old opened up on her injury history, which included a sneeze that could have forced her into retirement. She said: "My first back injury was in 2015. I was in the gym in Portland and was doing the good morning exercise which is like a hamstring exercise.

"As I was going down with the weight, I was using like 20 pounds I think, it just blew out. Something really weird just happened. In that moment was the first time I herniated that disc. It took maybe four weeks and I was having a really bad year that year as well.

"That was the first setback and then it has happened multiple times after that and it is always something weird. One time it was when I was picking up a hairdryer off the floor, another time I was bending down to unplug my charger out of the wall and most recently it was sneezing, so that was fun.

It has been quite the journey for Jodi Ewart Shadoff © Phelan M Ebenhack/AP/REX/Shutterstock It has been quite the journey for Jodi Ewart Shadoff

"A sneeze came over me and I sneezed so hard my disc blew out. I just remember being on the floor and my husband was at home and he came rushing over and I was just in floods of tears and saying 'I can't do this anymore'.

"I had been through this so many times and each time it takes longer and longer to recover from. In that moment golf was over, I thought my career was done." Despite the scare, Ewart Shadoff, of course, recovered before going on to secure her maiden win.

Jodi Ewart Shadoff finally got over the line last month © Getty Images Jodi Ewart Shadoff finally got over the line last month

And due to her constant injury battles, the English star felt the victory was never going to come. She went on: "I had kind of accepted that it was never going to happen for me, and you go back to the standard of golf becoming increasingly difficult to win on Tour.

"I think the moment that I accepted that I wasn't going to win but I was OK with not winning, then I won. It was like this little hurdle I got over. I worked really closely with my mental coach and we worked a lot on being happy no matter what."

""I would say 100 per cent of players at some point in their career let performance on the golf course put us off the golf course and I had been a victim of that for a very long time. I think the moment that I accepted that golf was just what I do but not who I am then everything fell in place for me."

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