Golf's hottest player Brandt Snedeker has been ruled out of next week's Accenture Match Play in Arizona with a rib injury - and that means Ireland's Shane Lowry is now in line to play Tiger Woods rather than Rory McIlroy.
Snedeker, who in his last three events has come second to Woods, second to Phil Mickelson and then first at Pebble Beach, started feeling soreness in his ribcage at the Humana Challenge last month and had more trouble last Thursday.
Currently on holiday with his family in Hawaii, the world number four will return to his Nashville home later this week and is then scheduled to see a specialist, who has already suggested immediate rest and does not perceive this as a long-term issue.
He hopes to return for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral in three weeks and told the PGA Tour website: "I certainly will miss competing in the Accenture Match Play Championship."
His withdrawal follows that of Mickelson, who is simply taking the week off to be with his family after five straight tournaments, and opens up a place for Sweden's world number 66 Fredrik Jacobson in the 64-man field.
If there are no more pull-outs Jacobson will take on world number one McIlroy next Wednesday and 65th-ranked Lowry will tackle Woods, while Austrian Bernd Wiesberger is now on stand-by.