Matsuyama out of Players Championship with back injury

March 10, 2022 GMT
Hideki Matsuyama tips his hat to the gallery after sinking a putt on the eighth green during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Friday, March 4, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Hideki Matsuyama tips his hat to the gallery after sinking a putt on the eighth green during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Friday, March 4, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Hideki Matsuyama tips his hat to the gallery after sinking a putt on the eighth green during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Friday, March 4, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Hideki Matsuyama tips his hat to the gallery after sinking a putt on the eighth green during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Friday, March 4, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Hideki Matsuyama tips his hat to the gallery after sinking a putt on the eighth green during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Friday, March 4, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama withdrew from The Players Championship on Thursday because of a back injury that has been troubling him since last weekend.

Bob Turner, who travels with and interprets for the Masters champion, says Matsuyama tweaked his neck and shoulder area at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and played through it on the weekend.

Turner says Matsuyama only chipped and putted during practice rounds at the TPC Sawgrass without ever taking a full swing. He also received treatment, but didn’t feel as though he was fit enough to play.

Matsuyama was not planning to play next week. His next event would be the Dell Match Play in Austin, Texas.

Matsuyama is a month away from his title defense at Augusta National. He became the first Japanese man to win a major last year at the Masters.

He is one of two players who already have multiple wins this season, having won the Zozo Championship in Japan last fall and the Sony Open in Hawaii in January.

Matsuyama was replaced in the field by Patrick Rodgers.

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