World number two Justin Rose’s hopes of winning the 2018 US PGA Championship could have been ended before the tournament has even started after he was forced to withdraw from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational due to a back injury.
Rose, who is almost a shoe-in for Europe’s 2018 Ryder Cup team for the event at Le Golf National, felt his back when arriving in Akron on Monday but he had hoped the issue would have calmed down ahead of Thursday’s opening round.
However, the Englishman, unfortunately, had to withdraw from the tournament due to back spasms and there are now huge doubts regarding his participation at next week’s US PGA Championship.
The 38-year-old, who could have moved to the top of the world rankings with a win at Firestone Country Club this week, has been in brilliant form this season and he narrowly missed out on The Open title, finishing in a tie for second.
England’s number one landed his ninth PGA Tour title at the Fort Worth Invitational back in May as he romped to a three-stroke victory whilst he has a further six top-10 finishes to his name this year.
Rose now faces a race against time to fit for the US PGA as he attempts to win his second Major trophy, having broken his duck in the ‘big four’ events at the 2013 US Open.
Another star-studded field will be present at Bellerive Country Club in Missouri next week, with the likes of world number one Dustin Johnson, four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy and defending champion Justin Thomas vying for glory.
American Tiger Woods, who came so close to landing the Claret Jug at Carnoustie, will be gunning for his 15th Major title and first since landing the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines.
Italian Francesco Molinari is another player being tipped to make a strong challenge after he broke his Major duck at the 147th Open Championship.