WGC-Dell Match Play
Paul Casey (back) doesn't show up to first tee at WGC-Dell Match Play, concedes his final two matches
The format at the WGC-Dell Match Play guarantees everyone in the field will play three matches before the field starts to be whittled down in knockout play. Unfortunately for Paul Casey, all he was able to get in this week at Austin Country Club was two holes.
On Thursday morning, Casey failed to show up on the first tee for his Day 2 match with Alex Noren, the match officially conceded when Noren hit his opening tee shot. In the afternoon, the PGA Tour announced that Casey also had conceded his Friday Day 3 match against Louis Oosthuizen.
All this came after the Englishman won his first hole on Wednesday in his Day 1 match against Corey Conners. However, Casey then hit two balls into the hazard on the second hole and soon withdrew from the match, citing injury. Casey's agent told Golf Digest's Shane Ryan that Casey was experiencing back spasms. He did not withdraw from the event at the time, however, hoping his back would improve to play his other scheduled matches.
Even if Casey was able to compete on Friday, having gone 0-2 in his first two matches he would not have been able to advance to weekend play out of his group.
Casey was in contention at the Players Championship two weeks ago, ultimately finishing third at the weather-wrecked event at TPC Sawgrass. He was a pre-tournament WD from last week’s Valspar Championship—a tournament that accounts for two of his three career PGA Tour wins—but that was chalked up to the toll of contending at the Players rather than an injury-related decision.
Casey had an exceptionally solid record at the WGC-Dell Match Play, reaching the Sweet 16 seven times in his last 11 starts here and finishing runner-up twice.
With the concession Noren moves to 2-0 in the round-robin group stage. Noren is scheduled to face Conners on Friday.