There is nothing worse than starting a major tournament with aspirations to win only to withdraw in the early going of the first round. Matt Kuchar, who is ranked No. 6 in the world, was forced to remove himself from Thursday’s round after suffering back pain.
The 36-year-old had 28-1 odds of winning the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club, a tournament he has never finished better than 10th in. Unfortunately, he will have to wait until next year to improve on that mark.
Kuchar finished fifth at The Masters, 12th at the U.S. Open and 54th at The Open Championship. He also ended up in fourth place at the RBC Canadian Open and 12th in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, the last two tournaments he appeared in.
Needless to say, Kuchar is having a rather decent year, which is why U.S. Ryder Cup team captain Tom Watson was excited to have the Florida native on his squad. However, Kuchar’s appearance at the Ryder Cup could be jeopardized depending on how serious his back spasms get over the next few weeks. In all likelihood, he will be good to compete. With that said, stranger things have certainly happened in the golf world.
John Huh, the PGA Championship alternate who was hoping to replace Tiger Woods on Thursday, will now get to play in the place of Kuchar. Huh, who is ranked 111th on the PGA Tour, has made 12 cuts in 24 appearances this season, including one top-10 finish.