A neck injury forced Hideki Matsuyama to withdraw from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event before his tee time on Friday.
By conceding the match, scheduled opponent Max Homa received the day off and a spot in the knockout stage of the competition in Austin, Texas.
Matsuyama, 31, reportedly spent about 20 minutes on the range at Austin Country Club, trying to loosen up before making his decision.
The 2021 Masters champion’s withdrawal also knocked out fellow Group 5 member Justin Suh. Suh needed to win his match on Friday against Kevin Kisner and have Matsuyama defeat Homa to force a playoff to decide the group winner.
Matsuyama defeated Kisner 1-up on Wednesday and lost 3 and 1 to Suh on Thursday.