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Defending champion Dufner withdraws from US PGA

ESPN staff
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Jason Dufner was 8-over-par at the time of his withdrawal © Getty Images
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Defending champion Jason Dufner has withdrawn from the PGA Championship because of a neck injury.

Dufner has been coping with two bulging disks in his neck since the Masters. He has tried to play through the pain this year and even had an injection before playing in the recent WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

He opened with a double bogey. He made a triple bogey on the 10th hole and was 8-over for the round when he stopped.

Dufner is No.8 in the Ryder Cup standings but qualifying for the American side ends this week. He has said he would be willing to skip the FedEx Cup play-offs to be healthy for the September 26-28 matches in Scotland.

If he does not earn one of the nine qualifying spots, Dufner says he will not likely be picked by captain Tom Watson.

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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