Jason Day withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational with injury for second straight year
Kevin C. Cox
Jason Day withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational while playing his second round on Friday at Bay Hill, citing injury.
According to the PGA Tour's communication department, Day, who was visibly walking with a limp, dropped out due to back problems. After a two-over 74 on Thursday, Day was one over through four holes when he exited.
"Jason had some stiffness in his lower back on putting green before round," Day's representatives told Australian AP writer Evin Priest. "Tried to play through it but it stiffened up again later on the golf course."
It is the second straight year Day has pulled out of the event. Last year, Day withdrew after six holes, also citing back pain.
Day is a former API winner, capturing the event in 2016. When he won his next event, the WGC-Dell Match Play, it propelled the Aussie to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. But the 2015 PGA champ has not won since May 2018, and it's been an inauspicious start to his 2019-'20 season. Though he ranks 20th in strokes gained, he has a lone top-15 finish in seven starts and entered the week at No. 45 in the world ranking, the highest he's been since 2013. In December, back issues also forced him to withdraw from the Presidents Cup, which was being held in his home country, after he had been a captain's pick of Ernie Els'.
This is Day's ninth career WD on the PGA Tour. It is unclear what this means to Day's status for next week's Players Championship, a tournament he won in 2016. He previously had been scheduled to compete in the event.