PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- For a third time in two days, a golfer withdrew from the Players with an injury. None, however, would fall under the category of shocking.
Defending champion Tim Clark and his bad right elbow became casualty No. 3 on Friday afternoon at TPC Sawgrass. Clark made a par on the 10th hole before walking off the course. He was four-over par at the time and unlikely to make the cut.
"I hit a shot out of the rough on nine, and I could feel it getting worse," Clark said. "There's just no point in staying. I tried as good as I can for two days."
The injury first flared up in February forcing the South African to withdraw from a several events before playing the Masters and missing the cut. This was his first event since and he didn't pick up a club until this past Saturday.
Clark has only played 11 full rounds in a 2011 season that started in promising fashion with a T-17 and a T-2 in the opening two events in Hawaii. Despite that, he's keeping an optimistic outlook.
"I'm just going to stay on top of it," he said. "I can't get too despondent and down on myself. It has been getting better, which is a good sign, so I'm going to try and stay positive and keep working at it."
Earlier in the day, Geoff Ogilvy (shoulder) withdrew and of course, Tiger Woods (knee/Achilles) pulled out on Thursday after a disastrous nine holes. Both of those players had cited those injuries as the reason for not playing in last week's Wells Fargo Championship.
Since the Players moved to TPC Sawgrass in 1982, no one has ever repeated as champion. With Clark's early exit, the odds on that streak ending this year just went from slim to none.
-- Alex Myers
Follow on Twitter: [@AlexMyers3
(Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)