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Collin Morikawa withdraws before the final round of Memorial with back spasms


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DUBLIN, Ohio – After providing one of the week’s highlight reel moments, a 94-yard wedge that spun into the hole Friday at No. 18 for an unlikely birdie, and just two shots off the lead, Collin Morikawa withdrew from the Memorial with back spasms.

Morikawa was preparing for his final round when he said he tweaked his back during a warm-up exercise. He said he tried to hit about 10 golf balls on the range, including what he called a “chunked” 9-iron, before he decided to withdraw.

Full-field scores from the Memorial Tournament

“I’ve literally never had this in my life,” Morikawa said. “I’ve had back [issues] briefly before, but nothing this bad. Especially never warming up or pre-round. It sucks, it’s the first tournament I’ve ever withdrawn from my entire life. I love this tournament and we put ourselves into contention but I have to look after myself and have to be smart.”

Morikawa moved to within two strokes of the lead with a third-round 68 that included back-to-back birdies to finish his round. The 26-year-old isn’t in the field for next week’s RBC Canadian Open and his next start is scheduled to be the US Open.

“I’m not too worried about it. I do want to be 100 percent by the end of next week so I can get some really good work in. It’s just not a time in the season I want this to happen,” he said. “I woke up fine, all signs indicated I was fine and a freak little accident, I’m never doing that exercise again.”