Rickie Fowler survived late miscues to share the lead at the US PGA Tour Phoenix Open alongside Bryson DeChambeau on Friday, as two-time defending champion Hideki Matsuyama withdrew injured.
"The pain in my left thumb area started on 13th hole yesterday", Matsuyama told Japanese reporters. The 25-year-old started out at TPC Scottsdale on Friday morning with his usual putting warm-up, but started to feel considerable pain after trying to swing in the practice range.
This is his fifth mid-tourney WD in 110 career events (105 pro), first since the 2016 Honda Classic. "I was a little disappointed in some of the stuff that was said and I don't want much negativity - the normal boos for missing a green, that's fine, but leave the heckling to a minimum and make it fun, support the guys out playing".
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With the early departure of Matsuyama, the Waste Management now features four of the top seven in the world and 22 of the top 30 in the FedExCup. He finished a shot behind Hunter Mahan in 2010, lost to Hideki Matsuyama on the fourth extra hole in 2016, and tied for fourth previous year.
Matsuyama chose to withdraw prior to his second-round tee-time despite being treated for the pain, which started during Thursday's opening round.
There will be no three-peat in the desert. "My third straight win here depended on this, so it's regrettable to have to drop out".