Paul Casey pulls out of Players Championship due to back injury
By Keith Jackson at TPC Sawgrass
Last Updated: 09/05/18 6:01pm
Paul Casey has been forced to withdraw from The Players Championship after suffering a back injury.
Casey underwent treatment on the problem upon his arrival at TPC Sawgrass on Wednesday morning, and the 40-year-old was advised by his medical team to pull out rather than risk further damage.
The world No 12 has been in sparkling form of late, with 21 top-20 finishes in his last 26 starts worldwide, including his superb win over Tiger Woods at the Valspar Championship in March - his first PGA Tour victory for nine years.
The Englishman has previously withdrawn from the tournament twice in his 11 appearances at the Stadium Course, pulling out due to illness in 2015 after an opening 79, having also made an early exit on his previous start in 2012 when he sustained a shoulder injury during a front-nine 42.
Casey tied for 10th on his debut in 2004 and tied for 14th in 2009 but there were also five missed cuts in his early Players Championship appearances.
He has performed creditably in the last two years, though, finishing in a tie for 23rd in 2016 and joint-22nd in 2017 when his chances were wrecked by third rounds of 76 and 77 respectively.
Casey's withdrawal reduces the English contingent at Sawgrass to seven, while Keith Mitchell has replaced him in the field this week and will play alongside Russell Knox and Alex Noren for the first two rounds.