[PHOTO: Raj Mehta]

Other than Scottie Scheffler, it feels like the only thing that can stop Wyndham Clark right now is some sort of freak injury. Unfortunately, that appears to be what happened to Clark earlier this week in preparation for the Houston Open.

The good news? Clark says he’s already feeling much better, and he plans to play anyway in Texas. That sound you hear is a deep sigh of relief from the gambling community.

The injury? The reigning US Open winner says he threw out his back.

“Unfortunately suffered a little bit of a back injury earlier this week,” Clark told the media overnight (Australian time) at Memorial Park. “So I’m kind of nursing that, but it’s loosening up and I was able to hit some shots today, so I’m looking forward to teeing it tomorrow.”

The injury occurred during a workout session on Monday morning in Scottsdale, Arizona, where Clark currently resides.

Stop playing swing and start playing golf

“Body’s been really healthy and I just got caught in an awkward spot doing a lift and my back went,” said Clark. “It’s not something that happens regularly, but it happened and you live and you learn. I’m trending in the right direction, I’m hitting it or feeling stronger and more mobile every day.”

Clark credited his team for helping him get back in playing shape in a very short period of time, which didn’t feel likely given how he felt on Tuesday.

“Just kind of like a muscle. Well, I threw it out,” he said. “I was in pretty bad shape yesterday, but fortunately I have a great team that has gotten me to be able to swing and hit. So he flew in early yesterday morning. I was only really able to chip and putt, then I did a bunch of rehab and I was able to hit balls today. So just in a short time I’ve improved a ton and I think I’ll be ready for tomorrow.”

As to the question of if there was ever a though he’d pull out of the tournament, Clark said that the thought certainly crossed his mind. But a dinner he wanted to be a part of Tuesday evening, plus the fact he was slated to play with kids that were battling with heart transplants and cancer on Wednesday, helped him power through.

Clark, who won the weather-shortened AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this year, has finished runner-up in each of his past two PGA Tour starts. On Thursday, he’ll begin his first round of the Houston Open at 1:53pm local time off the first tee alongside defending champion Tony Finau and four-time tour winner Si Woo Kim.