Injured Willett pulls out mid-round at Sawgrass

Briton Danny Willett

Danny Willett pulled out of the Players Championship midway through his second round because of a back injury, saying his “body and mind need a rest”.

Willett, 29, was 11-over-par for his 27 holes at Sawgrass in Florida.

The 2016 Masters champion tweeted: “Not good to have to withdraw but swinging very poorly is putting a lot of unwanted strain on the back.”

Willett, who has a history of back injuries, has missed four cuts in nine tournaments this season.

The Sheffield-born player’s form – including becoming the first defending champion since Mike Weir in 2004 to miss the cut at the Masters in April – has resulted in his world ranking falling to 21st.

Briton Danny Willett

He also split with friend and long-time caddie Jonathan Smart earlier this month after a disagreement during April’s RBC Heritage event.

Willett’s next scheduled start is the BMW PGA Championship, the key event on the European Tour schedule, in two weeks’ time.

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Players' Championship: Adam Scott blows chance of opening round lead

Adam Scott

Players Championship
Venue: TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida Dates: 11-14 May
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website on Saturday and Sunday

Adam Scott dropped four shots over the last two holes as he blew the chance to take a first-round lead at the Players’ Championship at Sawgrass in Florida.

On a day several big names struggled, world number 11 Scott recorded a five on the par-three 17th and a six on the par-four 18th to shoot 70.

American William McGirt leads overnight after a carding a five-under 67.

World number two Rory McIlroy and Masters winner Sergio Garcia finished one over, with Justin Rose one back.

Number one Dustin Johnson carded a one-under 71, while England’s Luke Donald scored a 74.

Scott’s fellow Australian Jason Day, the world number three, is also two-under after scoring a 70.