Australian star Jason Day has been forced to withdraw from this week’s lucrative Players Championship due to his persistent thumb injury.
Day has had his left thumb in a cast for two weeks since the the Masters in a bid to keep the joint from moving but has not seen the improvement he had been expecting.
The Queenslander is now also suffering from a bout of the flu and hopes to be fully fit for the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio on May 29.
Day said he was frustrated after having to pull out of the Players Championship and is anxious to get his interrupted season, which has seen him play only once since winning the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship in February, back on course.
“It’s tough but I just have to put this thing front and centre now and make sure it heals,” Day said.
He is now desperate to line up in the Memorial at Muirfield Village as the US Open will be staged a fortnight later at Pinehurst in North Carolina.
Day has been runner-up twice at the US Open, including last year at Merion where he had the lead with eight holes to play.
Last year’s Masters winner Adam Scott will now lead the nine-man Australian contingent who have qualified for the Players Championship.
Scott again has the chance to claim the world No.1 spot at this event.
He will be joined by Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley, Steven Bowditch, Greg Chalmers, Matt Jones, Marc Leishman, Geoff Ogilvy and John Senden.
Meanwhile, Victorian Geoff Ogilvy has scored only his second top 20 finish of the season.
Ogilvy finished in a share of 14th place in the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina, six under the card and eight shots off the pace set by American winner J.B.Holmes.
He had fired a second round 67 and was in line for a top 10 finish but faded over the weekend and eventually signed for a final round of 73.
The former US Open champion has had four years without a win and has not managed a top 10 in more than a year as he searches for the form which made him such a force on the tour a few years ago.
Ogilvy says his struggles are mostly because of putting, but there have been mental issues compounding the problem.
“What it does to your head changes everything,” Ogilvy said.
The 36-year-old has been left with flagging confidence but says at least his tee to green play is in reasonable shape.
“I’ve been gradually hitting the ball better all year,” Ogilvy said. “It’s not putting as a whole; it’s holing the right putt at the right time, or hitting the wrong shot at the wrong time.”
By: Robert Grant