Jason Dufner Withdraws From PGA Championship, Citing Back Injury

Defending champion Jason Dufner has withdrawn from the PGA Tournament, Bleacher Report is reporting.

Dufner won the tournament last year, but won’t be defending the Wanamaker Trophy due to bulging discs in his neck. After shooting a 40 on the front nine (eight over par), including a double bogey on the first hole and a triple bogey on the tenth, Dufner decided to call it a day. He told ESPN News:

“I felt bad last week. I haven’t made a birdie in 45 holes and I’m just not able to play golf right now. I don’t need to be out here. I tried to do what I could to be able to compete some and give it a go, but it is just pointless.”

The news couldn’t have come at a worse time for Ryder Cup team captain Tom Watson. Dustin Johnson has taken an indefinite leave of absence from gold; Matt Kuchar withdrew from the PGA Championship with back problems; and Tiger Woods has been struggling with back issues ever since he returned from surgery (see this Inquisitr article). Dufner is – or, was – currently No. 8 in the Ryder Cup standings.

The PGA Championship, played currently at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, is the last of the four “majors” played each year. Up next is the Ryder Cup, which will take place at Gleneagles in Scotland.

Who’s going to win the PGA Championship now that Jason Dufner is out and Tiger Woods is tanking? Let us know what you think in the Comments.