This column will provide any field updates, injury news, and other player notes in the days leading up to the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Field Changes (-): Andrew Putnam withdrew over the weekend.
Field Changes (+): Aaron Baddeley replaced Putnam in the field over the weekend.
Field Changes (+): Nicolai Hojgaard added to field over the weekend via sponsor's exemption.
Field Changes (+): Chase Johnson added to field over the weekend via sponsor's exemption.
Field Changes (-): Patrick Rodgers withdrew on Monday.
Field Changes (+): Kyle Stanley replaced Rodgers in the field on Monday.
Field Changes (-): Hayden Buckley withdrew on Monday.
Field Changes (+): Sean O'Hair replaced Buckley in the field on Monday.
Field Changes (-): Harris English withdrew on Tuesday.
Field Changes (+): Cody Gribble replaced English in the field on Tuesday.
Field Changes (-): Scott Piercy withdrew on Wednesday.
Field Changes (+): Chris Stroud replaced Piercy in the field on Wednesday.
Matsuyama enters this week's Rocket Mortgage Classic coming off a T13 finish at the Travelers Championship, a T32 at the U.S. Open, and a T16 finish a few weeks ago at the Memorial Tournament. Nonetheless, Matsuyama's neck injury continues to be an issue to monitor week-to-week and any time he tees it up in an event.
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 ultimately returned to action at the AT&T Byron Nelson (May 11th-14th) after missing the Wells Fargo Championship. He finished T23 after shooting a final round 66 (-5) at TPC Craig Ranch.
Matsuyama has dealt with this neck issue intermittently for the past two seasons. When healthy this season, Matsuyama has played some solid golf--making the cut in each of his last eight starts and finishing T32 or better in all of them.
Yu returned at last week's Travelers Championship where he finished T49. This was Yu's first start on the PGA Tour since undergoing surgery on February 20th for a torn meniscus.
Prior to the surgery, the rookie was having an excellent first season on the PGA Tour with seven made cuts in 10 starts, one top-5 finish, and two top-10 finishes. In his last start before the injury, Yu finished T7 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Todd withdrew during the second round of the Memorial Tournament on June 2nd due to a shoulder injury.
He returned the next week at the RBC Canadian Open (June 11th-14th) where he finished T34. Despite playing well, Todd noted after R2 at the Canadian Open that he was managing the pain with pain meds and physical therapy and also experiencing some pain with each shot he hit.
Todd missed the cut at last week's Travelers Championship (June 22nd-25th) after shooting 65-73 in the opening two rounds.
This injury does not appear to be too serious for Todd who has continued to play through whatever shoulder issue caused him to pull out of the Memorial Tournament in early June. Nonetheless, it'll be worth keeping an eye on Todd's status in the days leading up to the start of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Thursday.
Simpson withdrew prior to his opening round tee time at the RBC Canadian Open on June 8th due to illness. He returned at last week's Travelers Championship where he finished T52.
Simpson will now head to Detroit Golf Club for this week's Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Lingmerth withdrew during the second round of the RBC Canadian due to a back injury on June 9th. He returned at last week's Travelers Championship but missed the cut after shooting 71-68. He'll look to bounce back this week at Detroit Golf Club.
Piercy withdrew from the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Wednesday due to a back injury. He also withdrew prior to the start of the second round at the Travelers Championship last Friday (June 23rd) due to this same injury. The 44-year-old was set to tee off early on Friday morning before this injury caused him to pull out of the event. Piercy shot a two-over 72 in the opening round and would have at least had a chance to make the cut with a low second round at TPC River Highlands.
Frittelli is set to return for the first time since he withdrew during the first round of the Memorial Tournament on June 1st due to an undisclosed illness. The South African golfer pulled out of the field for the RBC Canadian Open two days later, and then Frittelli also withdrew from the Travelers Championship on June 18th.
It's unclear exactly what Frittelli is dealing with at the moment, though it could explain the tough stretch he's been on in recent months. Outside of a T26 at the Zurich Classic team event in April, Frittelli has missed the cut or withdrawn in nine of his last ten starts on the PGA Tour. The last time Frittelli made the cut in a non-team event was at The Honda Classic in February.
It will be important to monitor Frittelli's status in the days leading up to the start of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Thursday.
Snedeker returned at the Memorial Tournament (June 1st-4th) and finished T41 after missing more than nine months due to a chest injury. He also played the following week at the RBC Canadian Open (June 8th-11th) but missed the cut after shooting 79-76.
Snedeker underwent a rare sternum procedure called a Manubrium Joint Stabilization last December and started hitting balls again on April 1st.
He's slated to compete at this week's Rocket Mortgage Classic, which will be just his third start since surgery and a lengthy layoff.
Hughes withdrew from last week's Travelers Championship after the first round due to illness. According to a post on Hughes' Twitter account, he was dealing with kidney stones since early last week that had yet to pass. Hughes was never listed in the field for the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
His next chance to return will be at the John Deere Classic (July 6th-9th).
Kisner withdrew from the Travelers Championship during round one last Thursday due to an undisclosed illness. He was seven strokes over par through nine holes at TPC River Highlands at the time of the WD. The 39-year-old has now either missed the cut or withdrawn in each of his last seven starts in stroke play events on the PGA Tour.
Kisner was originally committed to play in the Rocket Mortgage Classic but then was not listed in the announced field last Friday. His next opportunity to tee it up will be at the John Deere Classic (July 6th-9th).
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.
May 22nd update: Woods officially withdrew from the U.S. Open on May 22nd, and there's currently no official timetable for his return.
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.
May 22nd update: Zalatoris announced on the ESPN broadcast during last week's PGA Championship that he feels pain-free for the first time in two years following back surgery. He's targeting a September return to the PGA Tour.
Berger remains sidelined from a back injury that has kept him out since the 2022 U.S. Open. The most recent update suggested he could return sometime in May but that is looking less likely as the month comes to an end. 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.
MAY 2ND UPDATE:
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.
JUNE 6TH UPDATE:
Berger was originally slated to compete in one of the U.S. Open final qualifiers on Monday (June 5th) as he was given a tee time for the qualifier in Boynton Beach, Florida but withdrew a couple of days prior.
Buckley suffered a torn muscle in his chest and rib area which forced him to withdraw from the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Monday.
According to a Twitter post from Buckley, he met with a team of doctors who diagnosed pain in his rib area as a torn muscle. Buckley's recovery time is uncertain, and so it's currently unclear when he might return to the PGA Tour.
The 27-year-old reached as high as 71st in the Official World Golf Rankings this season, thanks in part to three top-5 finishes. However, Buckley missed the cut in each of his last four starts, which could potentially make more sense if he was attempting to play through injury. It will be important to keep an eye on updates on Buckley's health status in the coming weeks.
McNealy announced in an Instagram post last Wednesday (June 21st) that he would be out for the next few months due to a torn left anterior sternoclavicular ligament. He's hopeful to return to the PGA Tour sometime in the Fall.
McNealy first suffered this injury back at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, which caused him to miss about a month of the season. At the beginning of June, at the RBC Canadian Open, the injury worsened and McNealy decided to properly address the nagging ailment by taking time off.
According to McNealy's social media post, the injury won't require surgery. Instead, McNealy plans to focus on physical therapy, biomechanics analysis, golf swing chances, and regenerative stem-cell treatments in order to treat the injury. Though not confirmed, it appears McNealy will likely miss the remainder of the 2022-23 PGA Tour season as he looks to return once fully healthy at some point in the Fall portion of next season's schedule.
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.
Barnes underwent knee surgery on April 3rd and is without a timetable for his return to the PGA Tour.
The 35-year-old rookie posted on Twitter that he was having reconstructive surgery on his MPFL and a repair of his MCL. Barnes said he's battled knee subluxation issues for the last couple of years which have worsened over the past few weeks. According to Barnes' social media post, the surgery was successful but he expects a long road in his recovery and eventual return to the PGA Tour.
Huh has yet to play in an event in 2023 due to elbow tendinitis. His last start came at The RSM Classic (November 20th, 2022).
Knowles announced on his Instagram account on May 1st that he severed a nerve in his thumb on February 1st, underwent surgery on February 24th, and started swinging a golf club again on April 14th.
He noted that (as of May 1st) he's nearly back to full function but "range of motion is limited due to scar tissue" and "lack of sensation in the outside part of my thumb."
Knowles was originally listed in the field for the RBC Canadian Open but pulled out of it over the weekend.
Kaymer withdrew from the PGA Championship on May 12th. After undergoing wrist surgery last November, Kaymer did not yet feel like he was 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."
Kaymer returned at the LIV Washington DC event (May 26th-28th) and finished 25th. He's expected to tee it up this week at LIV Valderrama.
Pieters withdrew prior to the third round of LIV Washington DC with an undisclosed injury on May 28th. He returned three weeks later for the U.S. Open but missed the cut after shooting 71-73.
Pieters is expected to tee it up this week at LIV Valderrama.
Wolff withdrew prior to the third round of LIV Washington DC with an undisclosed injury on May 28th. Following LIV DC, rumors were swirling about Wolff's status in the league. He was removed from certain aspects of his team's social media pages, suggesting that he could be seeking a trade to another LIV team.
He also withdrew prior to his U.S. Open final qualifier tee time on June 5th.
It'll be worth getting clarification on Wolff's status prior to the start of LIV Valderrama on Friday. Wolff did appear in this Smash GC Twitter post on Monday, suggesting that he's likely to compete this week.
June 27th update: Wolff was seen practicing at Valderrama on Tuesday and is expected to return for this week's LIV Golf event. He's scheduled to tee off alongside Abraham Ancer and Graeme McDowell at 7:15am ET on Friday for the opening round.
Kokrak withdrew prior to the second round of LIV Washington DC with an undisclosed injury on May 27th. There have been no updates on his health status since then.
Kokrak is expected to tee it up this week at LIV Valderrama.
Casey withdrew from the PGA Championship on May 16th due to toe and knee injuries. He reaggravated pre-existing injuries after trying new golf shoes recently. He ended up missing the LIV Washington DC event the following week (May 26-28th).
According to teammate Bryson DeCheambeau on May 24th, "His feet have been hurting him a little bit...He's in a place where he's recovering, and he'll be good in a couple weeks he told me, so no issues with that."
If DeChambeau's timeline on Casey's recovery is correct, it appears likely that he was will be ready to return for LIV Valderrama. Nonetheless, it will be worth getting further clarification on Casey's status before the start of the event.
June 27th update: Casey was seen practicing at Valderrama on Tuesday and said he's "good to go" for this week's LIV Golf event. He's scheduled to tee off alongside Lee Westwood and Brendan Steele at 7:15am ET on Friday for the opening round.
Westwood withdrew prior to the final round of LIV Tulsa on May 14th due to a medial ligament strain that occurred while running on a treadmill before round two. He returned at LIV DC (May 26th-28th) and finished 36th. He's expected to tee it up this week at LIV Valderrama.
Swafford underwent surgery on February 20th with the expectation that he would miss 4-6 months. He was seen swinging on the driving range in an Instagram post on May 4th.
Horsfield underwent surgery on May 10th and is expected to miss "a few months" according to a post on his Twitter account.