Ailing Paul Casey out of WGC-Dell Match Play after conceding second match

Paul Casey

Paul Casey is out of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play after conceding his second match of the week, this time without hitting a single shot.

Casey completed two holes of his opening contest with Corey Conners and hit his tee shot on the third before withdrawing due to back spasms on Wednesday.

The 44-year-old Englishman had hoped to be fit to face former Ryder Cup team-mate Alex Noren on Thursday but withdrew at the last minute, with a somewhat bemused Noren already on the first tee.

Casey came in for criticism on social media for starting his match against Conners, thereby denying first reserve Bernd Wiesberger a place in the field.

However, Austrian Wiesberger, who would have needed to reach the semi-finals to potentially qualify for the year’s first major at Augusta National, defended his Ryder Cup team-mate.

Writing on Twitter after Casey’s concession to Conners, Wiesberger said: “PC is a good friend and I wish him a speedy recovery. Hopefully he’ll be able to play tomorrow!”

Casey said a combination of age and fatigue was likely to blame for the back spasms, adding: “I wanted to play today. I was in there (the PGA Tour physio truck) for a good hour this morning getting more treatment, hoping I could go.

“(It was) just tender on the putting green and then started to feel it on the chipping green and then couldn’t get past a 9-iron, so…”

Asked if he would play his final group game against Louis Oosthuizen on Friday, Casey added: “I don’t know. I mean I can’t go through, so it’s kind of like what’s the point?

“I hate to just give a guy a match, and that would be Louis tomorrow. I guess that makes it even, doesn’t it; I gave one to Corey, one to Alex.

“I could win more FedEx Cup points, but I think it highlights a little bit the frustration some guys have with the system. I’m still a fan of you lose, you go home. But that’s a whole other conversation.”