It happens most every week, without fail. Some golfer in a PGA Tour event gets injured during a round. They try to soldier on and play their way through it, but they eventually realize the pain and discomfort is way worse than the potential benefit of gutting out a T-66 paycheck. They withdraw, mid-round.
The reaction on Twitter, particularly from fantasy golf and daily fantasy golf players, is usually calm. These guys are athletes, and they're usually trying to protect their careers and long-term prospects when they withdraw from a tournament. (Yes, every now and then, a player just doesn't want to play anymore, though a player has to produce a real reason for withdrawing other than that they felt like it.)
However, there are some eggs on Twitter and in other places who feel like they've been personally swindled by said injured player. They'll contact them on social media, usually sarcastically thanking them for ruining their fantasy team for that week, or even season. If a player responds, it's typically the correct one, saying they couldn't care less about some random's fantasy team.
So what about a compromise of some kind? What about the creation of a PGA Tour injury list?
Most every major sport has some kind of injured list. The NFL has weekly injury reports with standard, albeit often gamed, statuses. The NBA and NHL each have an injured list, and those injuries are often reported, even if they're vague ("upper body injury," hockey?!). Major League Baseball has a disabled list with stated injuries and different buckets in which players can remain on a roster for certain periods of time while they recuperate.
Golf doesn't have that. Players aren't required to tell the PGA Tour of their injuries or the extent of them, that is unless they want to seek a medical extension for an injury or surgery or other medical emergency that keeps them unable to play for an extended period of time. If a medical extension is granted, a player is then given ample time to earn enough FedEx Cup points to regain their status.
Beyond that, golf fans and fantasy golf players really don't know what these guys battle, either in the way of nagging injuries that are just a part of the grind or particularly painful injuries that could be a clear cause for a dip in form.
Creating a PGA Tour injury list would further transparency, and it would make a reality for a lot of fans that golf is a demanding physical sport that takes a toll on players' bodies. Just because they wear nice clothes and walk from shot to shot doesn't mean golfers don't battle physical issues all the time. Fans would know if their favorite player, who comes to their town once a year, is a little hobbled or perhaps in danger of not being able to play.
It's hard to see a downside to having an injury list. Yes, more players would be aware of potential weaknesses in their peers' health. Frankly, that wouldn't change how most golfers would look at the game. Knowing that may prevent the stray fan from purchasing a ticket to come to a PGA Tour stop, but that seems rare given the depth of talent on the PGA Tour.
The advent of a PGA Tour injury list would be a help for the sport, and it would save players from at least a few unpleasant reactions on social media.