Hideki Matsuyama out of Players Championship with back injury

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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.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan poses with the trophy after winning the final round of the Zozo Championship golf tournament at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021 in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan poses with the trophy after winning the final round of the Zozo Championship golf tournament at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021 in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. (AP Photo/Tomohiro Ohsumi)

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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