Hideki Matsuyama Withdraws From Valero Texas Open With Neck Injury

Hideki Matsuyama withdrew from the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio halfway through his second round Friday, as lingering neck and shoulder injuries left him unable to complete his final nine holes. Hideki entered the tournament looking to tighten up his game before heading to Augusta, but the injuries he sustained at Bay Hill last month resurfaced, putting his Masters status in question.

It’s fair to speculate whether Hideki Matsuyama is healthy enough to play

It would seem as if he is rushing his recovery process in hopes of being back on the course at Augusta National. He tried unsuccessfully to shake off the same injuries in time for The Players Championship in March, where he withdrew before ever playing a hole. One has to wonder if his rehabilitation process would be on the same timeline if the injuries occurred without a Masters defense on the horizon.

Matsuyama was one under with two birdies on the day before his early exit, and he nearly carded an ace on hole 16. He flushed a beautiful tee shot at the iconic bunker laden green, the ball took a high bounce in front of the pin, and somehow managed to glide right over the hole without falling in. He would tap in for his second birdie of the day, putting him at one over for the tournament.

Chez Reavie also withdrew from the Valero before playing his second round, citing a neck issue of his own. Reavie’s injury would prove much more detrimental to his game, as he finished round one five over with four bogeys and a double.

Hideki Matsuyama fans are surely hoping that his withdrawal is precautionary, as he was showing flashes of top form and playing some pretty solid golf before the early exit. Only time will tell if Hideki will be fit enough to tee it off at Augusta in less than a week, but even if he is – a title defense seems highly unlikely as of this moment.