May 9, 2018 / 5:32 PM / 4 months ago

Golf: Back injury forces world number 12 Casey out of Players

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - Englishman Paul Casey has withdrawn from the Players Championship due to a back injury, the PGA Tour announced on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO - May 4, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Paul Casey smiles after his birdie putt on the fifth during the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

American Kevin Mitchell is Casey’s replacement in the 144-man field at TPC Sawgrass, where the tournament gets underway on Thursday.

World number 12 Casey has been in excellent form this year.

The 40-year-old won the Valspar Championship in Florida in March, holding off Tiger Woods and Masters champion Patrick Reed by one stroke.

Casey also threatened the course record of 63 in the final round at the U.S. Masters in April, before finishing with two straight bogeys for a 65.

He tied for fifth last Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte.

Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Toby Davis

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