PGA Championship Injury News & Player Notes

May 15th 2023

Nick DeMott

This column will provide any field updates, injury news, and other player notes in the days leading up to the PGA Championship.

  • Field Changes (-): Martin Kaymer, Jason Dufner, Vijay Singh, and Davis Love III have withdrawn from the PGA Championship.

  • Field Changes (+): Alex Smalley, Lee Hodges, David Lingmerth, Callum Tarren, and Eric Cole have been added to the field for the PGA Championship.

  • Field Changes (-): John Daly withdrew on Monday.

  • Field Changes (+): Stephan Jaeger replaced Daly in the field on Monday.

  • Field Changes (-): Paul Casey withdrew on Tuesday.

  • Field Changes (+): Sam Stevens replaced Casey in the field on Tuesday.

  • Alternates List: Aaron Rai, Chesson Hadley, Lucas Glover, Michael Kim.

  • 99 of the OWGR Top-100 are in the field for the PGA Championship.

  • LIV Golfers in Field: Abe Ancer, Dean Burmester, Bryson DeChambeau, Talor Gooch, Dustin Johnson, Sihwan Kim, Brooks Koepka, Anirban Lahiri, Phil Mickelson, Joaquin Niemann, Mito Pereira, Thomas Pieters, Patrick Reed, Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele, Harold Varner III.

  • Corebridge Financial PGA Team: Alex Beach, Michael Block, Matt Cahill, Anthony Cordes, Jesse Droemer, Chris French, Russell Grove, Steve Holmes, Colin Inglis, Ben Kern, JJ Killeen, Greg Koch, Kenny Pigman, Gabe Reynolds, Chris Sanger, Braden Shattuck, John Somers, Josh Speight, Jeremy Wells, Wyatt Worthington II.

INJURY REPORT (as of 5pm ET, 5/17):

Jordan Spieth (wrist) -- IN

Spieth withdrew from the AT&T Byron Nelson last Monday (May 8th) citing a left wrist injury. He announced the news on Twitter in a short posting saying that he had experienced "severe pain" in his left wrist and was told by doctors that the injury requires rest and limited movement.

Spieth added that he will evaluate his recovery "week to week," which suggests there's a chance that he could miss this week's PGA Championship if the wrist injury does not improve over the next few days.

George Savaricas gave some more insight on Twitter into Spieth's injury and what it could mean for the PGA Championship. According to Savaricas, Spieth is dealing with an injury to the tendon in his left wrist. The plan is to rest and do physical therapy until Friday (May 12th) and then evaluate where he is prep-wise for the PGA. Savaricas also notes that Spieth is 50-50 to play in the PGA Championship.

Update (5/16): Spieth arrived at Oak Hill Monday night and started his preparations at the course on Tuesday. According to various reports, Spieth spent about 70 minutes hitting every club in his bag on the driving range and showed no signs of discomfort or limitations.

He then went to play a 9-hole practice round with Jon Rahm (though there were some mentions on Twitter that Spieth may have left after a hole due to backup on the 11th tee). Spieth's left wrist had a white wrap and there was black KT tape up his forearm.

Update (5/17): Spieth practiced again on Wednesday, seemingly without any issues. He went through his usual practice routine on the driving range and then played a practice round with Justin Thomas and Tom Kim. According to a Tweet by Doug Ferguson of AP News, Spieth said "There's nothing that separates (Oak Hill) from a U.S. Open." Ferguson added that Spieth would find out tomorrow as he's feeling good enough to play. So it appears Spieth will at least give it a go this week at the PGA Championship.

This article from Golf Channel adds some additional news and quotes from Spieth himself. Spieth explains that he's pleased with the injury's improvement and has been undergoing treatment on his wrist since last week. It feels good enough to play, though Spieth admits he feels a bit rusty in terms of reps.

Spieth has been grouped with Shane Lowry and Viktor Hovland for the first two rounds. Their round one tee time is set for 8:22am ET on Thursday.

Will Zalatoris (back) -- OUT FOR SEASON

Zalatoris announced on his Instagram account on April 10th that he underwent successful surgery on his back and will now miss the rest of the season.

Zalatoris withdrew just prior to his first-round tee time at The Masters. As it turns out, Zalatoris was dealing with the same back issues (herniated discs) that caused him to be out for the last four months of 2022. Zalatoris has had a very promising start to his career, winning his first PGA Tour event last summer at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, but will now miss at least another five months following a microdiscectomy.

I've seen some confusion out there–this is the first time Zalatoris had back surgery. He did NOT have surgery in 2022 for this issue.

Hideki Matsuyama (neck, wrists) -- IN

Matsuyama returned to action at last week's AT&T Byron Nelson after missing the Wells Fargo Championship due to a neck injury that he's been trying to manage throughout this season. He finished T23 after shooting a final round 66 (-5) at TPC Craig Ranch on Sunday.

According to a statement from PGA Tour Communications on April 28th, Matsuyama returned home to Japan after The Masters in order to receive treatment for his neck. However, according to the statement, Matsuyama's neck had not improved enough for him to compete at Quail Hollow.

Matsuyama has dealt with this neck issue intermittently for the past two seasons. It will continue to be something to monitor whenever Matsuyama tees it up in an event on the PGA Tour.

Additionally, Matsuyama appears to be dealing with some sort of wrist issue as well. This news is being translated from Japanese golf media, and so it's tricky to know the exact severity. Matsuyama seemed to manage it just fine at Byron Nelson, shooting 67 or better in three of his four rounds. He gained 5.34 strokes on approach but lost 1.38 strokes off-the-tee.

Update (5/17): Matsuyama was seen playing practice rounds at Oak Hill on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Tiger Woods (ankle, foot) -- OUT

Woods announced on April 19th that he underwent a subtalar fusion procedure to address his post-traumatic arthritis from a previous talus fracture. He is currently recovering and looks forward to beginning his rehabilitation.

The 15-time major champion withdrew in his most recent start at The Masters, citing a reaggravation of his plantar fasciitis after being seen walking with a noticeably worse limp during the third round. In February, Woods expressed his goal to play in all of the major championships this year. However, given this news of another ankle surgery and upcoming rehab, expectations should be tempered for Woods' chances at playing in the next three majors.

Woods is not listed in the field for the PGA Championship, and there's currently no official timetable for his return.

Ryan Fox (illness) -- IN

Fox has not played since withdrawing during the first round of the RBC Heritage on April 13th due to illness. According to a post on Fox's Twitter account on May 13th, he was dealing with a case of pneumonia.

The New Zealand native finished T26 in his last full event at The Masters. He's in the field for this week's PGA Championship and appears in good health after resting for the last month.

Update (5/17): Fox was seen playing practice rounds at Oak Hill on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Robert MacIntyre (back) -- IN

MacIntyre withdrew after the first round of the Italian Open on the DP World Tour on May 5th due to a back strain. He said his plan was to rest for a week before competing in the PGA Championship.

From an interview MacIntyre gave on May 13th: "I'll be good to go next week. I've seen the right people and am doing the right things. So I'll get on with it. It's far better."

Update (5/17): MacIntyre was seen practicing without issue on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at Oak Hill. He also told the media on Tuesday that his body is "feeling as good as it has in a while." MacIntyre also added that he "had a good couple of physio sessions over the off week, and I didn't play much golf at all just to recover...everything is in good shape."

Aaron Wise (personal) -- IN

Wise made his return to the PGA Tour at last week's AT&T Byron Nelson where he finished T50, and he is in the field for this week's PGA Championship.

He missed just over a month the season after deciding to step away from golf in order to focus on his mental health. Wise announced in an Instagram story on March 31st that he would not be playing in The Masters.

IG post from 3/31:

“Golf is just as much a mental game as it is one of physical skill, and the mental piece of it has been a struggle for me recently. I don’t take the significance of playing at Augusta lightly, but know that I need to take some time away to focus on my mental health so I can get back to compete at a level I am proud of.”

Daniel Berger (back) -- OUT

Berger is not in the field for the PGA Championship but is hopeful to make his return to the PGA Tour sometime in May, per Daniel Rapaport of Barstool Sports. The four-time winner has been sidelined since the 2022 U.S. Open.

Berger tried to play through this injury last season but said “that was definitely not the answer.” Instead, Berger has opted to take a more patient approach in his recovery. According to Rapaport, Berger has begun ramping up practice, and though he’s set no official timeline for a return it appears Berger could come back to the TOUR in May.


This article from AP News provides background and insight into the back injury Berger has been dealing with for the past year. In the article, Berger notes that it's not a career-ending injury but knows it'll be a challenge to get back to where he was as a top player in the world.

Berger has been posting clips on his Instagram account of him swinging a golf club, suggesting that his return could come soon though there is no official date or tournament that he's committed to yet.

Jhonattan Vegas (elbow) -- OUT

Vegas announced on his personal Twitter account on April 27th that he suffered an elbow injury related to the one that plagued him last year. He underwent surgery in April of 2022, and then later in the year Vegas opted to take the entire Fall portion of the PGA Tour schedule off due to this recurrent injury.

The 38-year-old has not played in a PGA Tour event since the Valspar Championship last month. Vegas said the recovery is taking longer than he expected but is working hard to return as soon as possible.

Andrew Putnam (back) -- IN

Putnam withdrew during the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship on May 4th due to a back injury. He did not play the following week at the AT&T Byron Nelson but is listed in the field for the PGA Championship.

Update: Putnam was seen practicing at Oak Hill on Tuesday.

Jason Dufner (personal) -- OUT

The 2013 PGA Championship winner at Oak Hill withdrew last Friday after missing the cut at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Dufner is not playing due to the expected arrival of his first child this week.

Martin Kaymer (wrist) -- OUT

Kaymer withdrew from the PGA Championship last Friday. After undergoing wrist surgery last November, Kaymer does not yet feel like he is ready to compete for 3 weeks in a row.

"I don't think I will be able to play 3 weeks in a row after the [offseason wrist] surgery...I'm playing good. It's just a matter of I would like to go there with the mindset of I can actually win the golf tournament. I don't have that yet. I have not been practicing at all for the last six months. I've only been putting and chipping and I only hit golf shots during the tournament. So that is not enough to beat the best player in the world."

Davis Love III (hand/wrist) -- OUT

Love III withdrew from the PGA Championship last Thursday. The 59-year-old has dealt with a hand/wrist injury throughout this season, which has caused him to play limited events both on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour.

Vijay Singh (undisclosed) -- OUT

Singh withdrew from the PGA Championship last Thursday for an undisclosed reason.

John Daly (knee) -- OUT

Daly withdrew from the PGA Championship on Monday due to swelling in his recently replaced knee.

Paul Casey (knee, toe) -- OUT

Casey withdrew from the PGA Championship on Tuesday due to toe and knee injuries. He reaggravated pre-existing injuries after trying new golf shoes recently. He finished 42nd in last week's LIV Tulsa event. This will be the second year in a row that Casey has been forced to miss the PGA Championship due to injury.

Other Player News:

Patrick Cantlay -- IN

Cantlay's pre-tournament press conference was canceled on Wednesday without any reason given. There doesn't appear to be any concern with his status for the PGA Championship though as Cantlay was seen playing a practice round on Wednesday. Cantlay appears set to make his second start in a row with Joe LaCava on the bag for him.

Jason Day -- IN

In his pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday, Day revealed that he did not play a practice round on Monday or Tuesday at Oak Hill and was probably not going to play a practice round on Wednesday either.

"I want to make sure that I'm mentally prepared and mentally ready for tomorrow. No matter how well I prepare, even if I go out and play a practice round, If I come in tomorrow kind of tired and exhausted, it won't do me any favors...It's not the first time I've come into a major and not played any practice round."

Day is, of course, entering this week's PGA Championship fresh off a victory at the AT&T Byron Nelson this past Sunday.

Dustin Johnson -- IN

In his pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday, Johnson revealed that he pulled a muscle in his lower back towards the end of January. This led to Johnson not practicing for a few weeks before the LIV Golf season started at the end of February in Mayakoba.

"It's just taken me a while to get back, get the patterns right and just get my body moving right. Developed some bad habits, and it's just golf; things happen."

Johnson saw his game finally come back together last week in Tulsa as he won the most recent LIV event this past Sunday.

"I think the game is in good form. I had obviously a good week last week, but it's much better. Obviously my last couple events it's kind of been trending in the right direction. Did everything really nicely last week."

Bryson DeChambeau -- IN

DeChambeau has Greg Bodine (former caddie for Tony Finau from 2014-2020) on the bag this week at the PGA Championship. They began their partnership last week at LIV Tulsa.

J.J. Spaun -- IN

Spaun withdrew two days before the start of last week's AT&T Byron Nelson for an undisclosed reason. He's in the field for the PGA Championship.

Nick Taylor (personal) -- IN

Taylor returns for the PGA Championship after missing a couple of weeks due to the expected arrival of his second child. He last played at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans where he finished runner-up playing alongside Adam Hadwin.

Update: Seen playing practice round at Oak Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mark Hubbard -- IN

Hubbard withdrew two days before last week's AT&T Byron Nelson for an undisclosed reason. It's possible that Hubbard found out he received an invite to the PGA Championship and then decided not to play at TPC Craig Ranch.

Update: Seen playing practice round at Oak Hill on Tuesday.

Alex Smalley -- IN

Smalley withdrew two days before last week's AT&T Byron Nelson for an undisclosed reason. Similar to the post above, it's possible that Smalley found out he was the first alternate and likely to get into the PGA Championship and then decided not to play in Texas.

Update: Seen playing practice round at Oak Hill on Tuesday.

Kevin Kisner -- IN

Kisner is currently in the field for this week's PGA Championship. He has not played in an event on the PGA Tour since withdrawing after the first round of the RBC Heritage on April 13th. It's currently unclear what exactly Kisner is dealing with at the moment, or if his absence is injury related at all. His status is one to monitor.

Update: Seen playing practice round at Oak Hill on Monday.