A bumper field will line up at the WGC Match Play in Texas, with 64 of the top 69 players in the world set to test their skills before the Masters.
Brooks Koepka, past finalist Gary Woodland and Australia’s Adam Scott are among the five players from the top 64 in the world who will not be playing in the Match Play next week at Austin Country Club.
Koepka is recovering from a strain in his right leg. The Match Play, which starts Wednesday in Austin, Texas, will be the third straight tournament the four-time major champion has not been able to play.
Justin Rose and Tiger Woods are the others from the top 64 in the world ranking who will not play, the least surprising being Woods.
He only returned home to Florida this week to resume a long recovery from serious leg injuries in a February 23 single-car crash in Los Angeles.
They were replaced in the field by the next five available in this week’s world ranking – Ian Poulter, Erik van Rooyen, Adam Long, J.T. Poston and Dylan Frittelli, who played college golf at Texas.
Scott said last week he won’t be playing. His final event ahead of the Masters is this week at the Honda Classic. Rose withdrew from Bay Hill and The Players Championship with back issues.
Woodland, who lost to Rory McIlroy in the championship match at Harding Park in 2015, tested positive for the coronavirus and had to withdraw from the Honda Classic.
It was not clear if the 10-day isolation required under PGA Tour protocols would allow him to play the Match Play because of the Wednesday start.
According to tour regulations, a player must start the first match in group play to be eligible for the next two.
The tournament features three days of round-robin matches among 16 four-player groups, which are filled with players from the Nos. 1-16 seeds, Nos. 17-32, Nos. 33-48 and Nos. 49-64.
Dustin Johnson, who won at Austin Country Club over Jon Rahm in 2017, Justin Thomas, Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau are the top seeds.