Brandt Snedeker withdraws from WGC match play event

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Brandt Snedeker has withdrawn from the Match Play Championship in Arizona next week because of sore ribs.

Snedeker is coming off a torrid stretch of golf in which he was runner-up in consecutive weeks to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and then won the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am to rise to a career-best No. 4 in the world.

He said he first felt soreness in the left rib cage at the Humana Challenge a month ago, the only time this year he didn’t finish in the top three.

Snedeker went to Maui on vacation this week. He is not scheduled to play again until the Cadillac Championship at Doral on March 7-10.

He will be replaced in the Match Play field by Fredrik Jacobson.

WOODS’ ROAD TO AUGUSTA: Woods is filling out his schedule on the road to the Masters Tournament by playing three tournaments in a row starting next week.

Woods says on his Web site Tuesday he’ll play next week in the Match Play Championship. He will play the following week near his home at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and play in the Cadillac Championship at Doral.

GOOD NEWS FOR CANTLAY: Patrick Cantlay is he’ll tee it up Thursday at Riviera in his hometown tournament. He can only hope it doesn’t cost him down the road.

Cantlay was given a sponsor’s exemption to the Northern Trust Open, one of seven he is allowed this year because is not a PGA Tour member. It looked as if he wouldn’t have to use it when Cantlay closed with 67 at Pebble Beach and tied for ninth. Anyone finishing in the top 10 gets into the next open tournament.

But the field at Riviera is so strong that it already was filled with regular members. There was no room left for top-10 players from the previous week.

James Hahn and former Augusta State standout Patrick Reed, graduates of the Web.com Tour and Q-school, finished ahead of Cantlay at Pebble. They didn’t get in, either, instead going to the top of the alternate list. By Monday, they were in the tournament after Hank Kuehne and Jhonattan Vegas withdrew.

Cantlay ordinarily would have been next on the alternate list. But on noon Monday, he was removed from the alternate list because he already was in the field on a sponsor’s exemption. This is his fourth exemption of the year. It would have been handy for Cantlay to save that exemption later in the year.

Dennis said the tour’s regulation allows for a player’s top-10 finish to carry over into the next event — the Honda Classic, in this case — if he doesn’t get in a tournament. But it doesn’t apply in this case because Cantlay is playing the Northern Trust Open.

The only way to save that exemption would have been taking a big risk — pull him out of the tournament before noon Monday with hopes that enough players would have withdrawn for him to make it into the field as an alternate.

Pebble Beach was Cantlay’s first cut this year, and he made $175,500. That will help in his bid to reach a level where he could get unlimited exemptions. But by having to use the sponsor exemption, it puts a little more pressure on him to play his best in the limited starts he has.

BRITISH OPEN CHANGES: Players no longer will have to figure out special money lists to determine whether they can get into the British Open.

The Royal & Ancient made a few tweaks to its qualifying process this year. Instead of a special money list on the PGA Tour and European Tour, that has been eliminated in favor of additional spots on their money lists much closer to the Open.

A year ago, three spots were available from the FedEx Cup standings after the Colonial in May. Two spots were available from a special money list that consisted of The Players Championship and five tournaments through the Greenbrier Classic. Now, the special money list is gone and five spots will be available from the FedEx Cup standings after the Greenbrier.

The same applies to the European Tour.

There is one other change. A year ago, the leading player (not already eligible) from the top five at the French Open, Scottish Open, Greenbrier and John Deere Classic got into the Open. This year, only the winner from the Scottish Open and John Deere get in.


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