hovland wds from wmpo schauffele follows hours later

Hovland WDs from WMPO; Schauffele follows hours later

hovland wds from wmpo schauffele follows hours later

The WM Phoenix Open lost its second highest-ranked player. Hours later, it lost another one.

Viktor Hovland, who is No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking, withdrew from the non-signature event at TPC Scottsdale on Monday. No reason was given, and Hovland was replaced in the field by Victor Perez. World No. 5 Xander Schauffele then followed Hovland in withdrawing, opening up a spot for Alexander Bjork.

Another DP World Tour graduate, Sami Valimaki, was bumped up to first alternate.

Hovland is coming off a T-58 finish over 54 holes at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He also was T-22 of 59 players at The Sentry. According to Eurosport Golf’s Marius Thorp, Hovland withdrew because “he didn’t feel comfortable” with how he was playing and “wanted to figure out” his swing, and he opted to to “take a week of training in Florida before returning to competition in the Genesis Invitational.”

Schauffele had played four of the Tour’s first five events of the season, including each of the past three weeks. He was T-54 at Pebble after three straight top-10s.

Hovland and Schauffele’s withdrawals leave five of the top 10 players in the world competing, including two-time defending champion and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler. No. 6 Wyndham Clark (last week’s winner), No. 8 Max Homa, No. 9 Matt Fitzpatrick and No. 10 Brian Harman join Scheffler in the field.

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