Hideki Matsuyama withdrew from the second round of the Valero Texas Open Friday citing injury.
According to the PGA Tour a neck problem is the root of Matsuyama’s decision to drop out. Matsuyama had opened with a two-over 74 at TPC San Antonio and was one under through his first nine on Friday.
The timing is far from ideal, as Matsuyama is set to defend his Masters title next week at Augusta National. There was no immediate word if Friday’s injury puts that title defence in doubt. Matsuyama was already dealing with a lingering back injury this season, one that forced him out of the Players Championship in March. In a conference call last week Matsuyama admitted the injury hasn’t allowed him to practice to his normal standards.
“I’ve been receiving a lot of treatment, getting prepared,” Matsuyama said. “Yesterday was the first day that I’ve been able to have a good practice session. So the remainder of this week and next week, I’ll do my best to prepare well so I can defend my title at Augusta. … I haven’t been able to practice as much as I’d like, but what I have been doing, I feel like I’m on the right track. Hopefully I can find that same form that I started the year out with.”
Prior to the health setback Matsuyama was enjoying a strong start to the campaign with a fall win at the Zozo Championship and a victory in January at the Sony Open.
In 2021 Matsuyama became the first Japanese male to win a major championship with his triumph at Augusta National. The 2022 Masters begins April 7.