Jason Day withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational with back injury after six holes

Jason Day played just six holes of golf before withdrawing with a back injury in his first round of the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational on Thursday. Day made a bogey at his first hole, a double at the fourth, a birdie at the fifth and withdrew after hitting his second shot in the water on the par-5 16th hole, his seventh of the day as he started on the back nine. He was 2 over at the time of his WD.

“I (aggravated) it last Sunday and then got an MRI Monday, which came back that I had an annular tear in my disc, and then I’ve got facet problems as well,” Day told PGA Tour.com. “My back was sore when I was practicing from Tuesday to Saturday, and I was going to practice on Sunday, but I woke up and couldn’t really walk or sit in the car.

“I was on a dose pack to try get the inflammation out of it, and that didn’t get any better. I saw a physio here and tried to do as much work as I possibly could to get ready for this week. I couldn’t play at 100 percent today, so I just wanted to see if I could get out here and (my back) may have loosened up. But, unfortunately, it didn’t, so I had to pull out.”

It was the first withdrawal for the oft-injured Australian since the 2016 Tour Championship. That year’s WD was his second in as many tournaments as he also WD from the BMW Championship two weeks before East Lake.

Day has been relatively healthy of late, though, and playing some solid golf. He had a pair of top-five finishes in his only two starts on the west coast and came into Bay Hill with a little bit of momentum. He was also the champion of this event in 2016 (and … ahem … my pick to win this week).

Day will now look ahead to next week’s Players Championship, which he also won in 2016 during his torrid stretch of seven wins in 11 months. The Players was the end of it, though, as he went on a drought from then until the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open.

Now we have two top-20 players on injury watch for next week’s man event with Day and his back and Tiger Woods and a balky neck. Hopefully both will be ready to roll for what will be the most loaded tournament of the season to date next Thursday at TPC Sawgrass.

Categories: National Sports

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