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Marino disappointed by withdrawal from AT&T

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Pitches and Putts,Sports,Kevin Dunleavy

Fairfax native Steve Marino will miss one of the favorite tournaments on his calendar, the AT&T National. After playing nine holes on Wednesday morning at Congressional Country Club, Marino has withdrawn. It will be the first time he’s missed the event in the tournament’s six-year history.

Marino, 32, said he began to feel pain in his troublesome left knee on the third hole and it remained sore for the rest of the nine.

“Just having a hard time walking without a limp and having a hard time posting on my left side,” Marino said. “It’s just not acting right.”

Marino said he felt some pain during his practice round on Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s pretty disappointing. I was looking forward to playing this week,” Marino said. “But you gotta listen to your body. I wouldn’t have been fun to go out there not feeling good and not be able to perform.”

This is a second major setback for Marino, who had surgery in October to repair a meniscus tear, Marino returned in January, playing in pain in three tournaments — and making the cut in two — before discovering he had a bone contusion and avascular necrosis, which restricts blood flow to the injured area.

“Basically my bone was dying,” Marino said.

After four months off, Marino returned in early June, missing the cut at the Memorial. That was followed by missed cuts at the U.S. Open and Travelers, but only minor pain in the knee, until Wednesday.

Marino had anticipated a fun week in Bethesda. He and his caddie, G.W. Cable, were staying at the home of an uncle of Cable’s who lives in the neighborhood that surrounds Congressional. Marino shot an opening round 65 and contended until the final round in the 2008 AT&T National.

“It might not be fully healed yet,” he said from the putting green at Congressional, shaking his head.

Kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

Kdunleavy@twitter.com

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