Hideki Matsuyama Forfeits WGC Match Due To Injury

Hideki Matsuyama is forced to withdraw from the WGC-Match Play with a neck injury to send Max Homa into the round of 16

Hideki Matsuyama plays a shot during the first round of the 2022 Tour Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hideki Matsuyama was forced to withdraw from the WGC-Match Play in Texas due to a neck injury, which resulted in his scheduled opponent Max Homa going straight through into the round of 16.

Homa secures a knock-out place at the Match Play for the first time in three attempts after previously beating Justin Suh and Kevin Kisner this week, both by 3&2 margins.

With Matsuyama beating Kisner but losing to Suh, he could have forced a playoff with Homa had he beaten the American in Friday’s third match.

However, the neck injury that has been bugging the former Masters champion forced him to withdraw from the event before teeing off at Austin Country Club.

After arriving at the course, Matsuyama tried to warm-up and spent time on the range testing out his neck, but decided that he wasn't fit enough to play.

Worryingly for Matsuyama, it’s the second time in five months that he’s had to pull out of a tournament due to the neck injury – having also withdrawn from the Houston Open in November.

With the Masters coming up quickly, the 2021 champion must be concerned about his prospects of competing at Augusta National.

The 31-year-old had been in decent form as well, having finished fifth at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, so would have been well fancied to challenge again at Augusta.

For Homa, he gets to play the WGC-Match Play knockout rounds for the first time, to continue the good form he’s shown this season with two wins already, in the Fortinet Championship and Farmers Insurance Open.

Homa has moved up to a career-high sixth in the world and is second in the FedEx Cup standings behind Jon Rahm, and making the last 16 in Austin means he is guaranteed a T9 finish.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.