07 Mar 2020 | Professional golf |

Day hurt again, WD at Bay Hill

by Martin Blake

Jason Day Bay Hill image
Jason Day before his withdrawal at Bay Hill today. Photo: Getty

Jason Day is hurt again, withdrawing from the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida for the second straight year today.

The Australian played just four holes of his second round at Bay Hill then hit an errant drive on the fifth before withdrawing

Day’s manager, Bud Martin, said in a statement, “Jason had some stiffness in his lower back on the putting green before the round. He tried to play through it but it stiffened up again later on the golf course.”

The injury comes just a week before the Players Championship and also is uncomfortably close to the Masters tournament at Augusta National in April.

More broadly, Day just cannot cut a break from the back pain that threatens to shorten his career at just 32 years of age.

He had a long break at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 before explaining at Torrey Pines that the injury could flare unexpectedly. "It’s not so much the actual swing itself, I’ll just go bend over and pick something up, my back will go out and then I’m done for two weeks," he said at the time.

Day is not the only player struggling with back issues. Former world No. 1 Tiger Woods pulled out of the Players Championship today citing injury. His manager, Mark Steinberg, said Woods was "just not ready".

The better news for Australia on day two at Bay Hill was that Marc Leishman vaulted up the leaderboard and into contention with a second-round 69, ending up just three shots from the lead held by Englishman Tyrrell Hatton and South Korea's Sung Kang.

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