Back problem forces Day withdrawal at Bay Hill

Back problem forces Day withdrawal at Bay Hill

Mickelson was in good shape midway through his first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational as four birdies in six holes took him to the turn in three under, but he then blocked his tee shot way left at the par-four 10th.

"I (aggravated) it last Sunday, and then got an MRI Monday which came back that I had an annular tear in my disc", Day said.

The 2016 victor of the Palmer event believes he aggravated his back during intense practice last week at TPC Sawgrass - site of next week's elite Players Championship. I couldn't play at 100 percent today, so I just wanted to see if I could get out here and (my back) may have loosened up.

"I woke up Sunday and I couldn't really walk", Day said. "But unfortunately it didn't, so I had to pull out".

Four-time major victor McIlroy admits, like Rose, he is already preparing for the Masters in April - where he has a chance to become just the sixth golfer to complete golf's career Grand Slam. I ended up coming down here and seeing a physio and trying to do as much work as I possibly could to get ready for this week.

Day was one of just three Australians to start the week, Aaron Baddeley the best of the remaining two after 18 holes with a 2-under 70 to be T15.

The 29-year-old Northern Irishman could become only the sixth player to win all four major titles with a victory at the Masters, an elite club that both Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson can also enter this season.

Day said he hoped to be ready to play next week's Players Championship, which he won in 2016.

This isn't the first time Day has struggled with back issues-he missed the final two FedEx Cup playoff events in 2016 to rehab his back. The ball was still in play, but because he was not allowed to move the boundary fence, and didn't want to take a drop, Mickelson chose to stand outside the green, vinyl barrier and play his next shot right-handed.

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