Australian Jason Day will miss the Players Championship next week due to a persistent thumb injury that has plagued him throughout 2014.
The 26-year-old has only featured once - at the Masters last month - since his WGC Accenture Matchplay victory over Victor Dubuisson in February as his thumb continues to prove problematic, despite having it in a cast for two weeks following Augusta.
Sadly for the world number six, though, it has not healed in time for him to be in the strongest field the PGA Tour has to offer at the infamous TPC Sawgrass next Thursday. Tiger Woods, last year's champion, is also still sidelined from undergoing back surgery in early April.
It will continue to be a source of frustration for Day, who was displaying signs of returning to the kind of form that saw him twice go close to winning a Green Jacket in 2011 and 2013, as well as his two runner-up finishes at the US Open, one of which was at Merion a year ago.
He valiantly fought off a determined Dubuisson at Dove Mountain two months ago to secure the biggest title of his career so far, after the Frenchman had twice got down in two from in amongst the Arizonian cacti when it looked certain Day would wrap up victory.
However, ever since, he has managed just one appearance on the American circuit - where he claimed a tied-20th finish at the year's opening major championship.
It is thought he is hopeful of returning to action at Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament in Ohio at Muirfield Village, Ohio - Day's residence in the States.
"It's tough but I just have put this thing front and centre and make sure it heals," he said.
Meanwhile, his compatriot Adam Scott will once again have the chance to go to number one in the Official World Golf Rankings when he tees it up at Sawgrass.
The 2013 Masters champion has so far failed to usurp the injured Woods as officially the world's best player and he will face stiff competition at Ponte Vedra Beach.
Before Seung-Yul Noh's victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last week, every winner on Tour this year had come from either America or Australia and that trend could easily continue at the Players with nine Australians still in the field despite Day's absence.
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