Players Championships: Matsuyama withdraws due to back injury

Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese man to win a golf major in April last year and is a few weeks away from defending his title at Augusta National.

FILE PHOTO: Hideki Matsuyama.   -  Getty Images

Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama has withdrawn from the Players Championship in Florida due to a back injury, the PGA Tour said on Thursday.

Japanese world number 11 Matsuyama, who won the Zozo Championship in October last year and the Sony Open in January, had been scheduled to begin on the 10th hole with Joaquin Niemann and Cameron Smith.

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He was replaced in the field by American Patrick Rodgers.

Matsuyama became the first Japanese man to win a golf major in April last year and is a few weeks away from defending his title at Augusta National.

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