Jason Day withdraws from Memorial with bad back, playing in U.S. Open now in jeopardy

Jason Day withdrew from the Memorial Tournament Thursday morning with a back injury.

Now a potential start in the U.S. Open is in jeopardy.

"Unfortunately I've had to make the decision to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament with a back injury," Day said in a statement. "While my body has been great recently, I tweaked my back on Monday and while we tried to get it right over the last few days, ultimately, I felt the best decision was not to put it at further risk.

"It's disappointing to have to miss one of my favorite tournaments of the year but I'm confident it's nothing major and with some rest and rehab I'll be back soon. I look forward to returning to Muirfield Village next year and I wish Jack (Nicklaus) and the tournament every success this week."

Day, ranked 69 th in the world, would have needed a high finish in this week's tournament to qualify for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego in two weeks; the top 60 in the world at the end of Sunday qualify.

The former world No. 1 and 2015 PGA champion could play in the 36-hole, final qualifying stage on Monday to earn a spot in the national championship but that seems unlikely. In addition to his balky back, Day and his wife, Ellie, are expecting their fourth child any day now.

The last major championship Day, 33, missed was the 2012 Open Championship when his oldest child, Dash, was born. The winner of 12 PGA Tour titles also was forced to withdraw in the 2012 Masters with wrist and ankle injuries.

In addition to his lone major title in the 2015 PGA, he has 15 other top 10s in majors.