Golf-Matsuyama withdraws from Match Play event with neck injury

FILE PHOTO: Golf - The 150th Open Championship - Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland, Britain - July 16, 2022 Japan's Hideki Matsuyama tees off on the 2nd during the third round REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - Former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama withdrew from the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play event on Friday citing a recurring neck injury.

Matsuyama split his opening two matches this week at Austin Country Club and needed to beat Max Homa on Friday to force a playoff and determine who advanced to the knockout rounds.

As a result of Matsuyama's withdrawal, world number six Homa advances out of the group stage with a 3-0-0 record.

"I experienced some stiffness in my neck this morning while warming up on the range, preventing me from making a full swing," Matsuyama said in a statement.

"As a precautionary measure, I decided to concede my match to Max and rest before moving onto the Valero Texas Open next week."

This week's event marked the first PGA Tour start for the Japanese world number 20 since his fifth-place finish at The Players Championship.

Matsuyama also withdrew from last year's Valero Texas Open midway through his second round with a neck injury, less than a week before he was set to begin his Masters defence.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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