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2021 Players Championship field: Brooks Koepka withdraws

Citing a strained right knee, Koepka pulls out of this week's $15 million event at TPC Sawgrass, leaving 48 of top 50 to compete

Withdrew: American Brooks Koepka, citing a strained right knee, from this week’s PGA Tour Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., the PGA Tour announced Sunday. "Brooks strained his right knee, and he is scheduled to further consult with doctors this week to receive a more extensive evaluation and outlook,” Blake Smith, Koepka’s manager, said in a statement released by the PGA Tour. “We will be able to provide additional updates and information as we learn more.” Koepka was replaced in the field by India's Anirban Lahiri. Koepka, 30, a four-time major champion, has a history of knee problems, but with his left knee. He underwent stem-cell treatment in 2020 to repair a partially torn patellar tendon. Koepka, at No. 12 in the Official World Golf Ranking, will be among only two members of the top 50 who will not play TPC Sawgrass. The other is No. 20-ranked Matthew Wolff. Koepka, who won the Phoenix Open in February, tied for second in his most recent start, at the WGC Workday Championship. The Players Championship's $15 million purse, the richest in golf, will pay $2.7 million to the winner. Last year at the Players marked the beginning of what would become a three-month suspension in play because of the widening COVID-19 pandemic. After the first round was completed, commissioner Jay Monahan responded to growing concern about the virus as the NBA halted its season earlier in the day. Thus, Rory McIlroy, the 2019 Players winner, will get another shot at being the defending champion. Among players eligible who will not compete, two-time champion Tiger Woods was recovering in a Los Angeles hospital from a vehicle rollover in which he severely injured his right leg, ankle and foot. For a look at the 154-man field, click here.

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