With most of the sport’s stars already passing on the event, the John Deere Classic took another hit Monday as the top-ranked player in its field dropped out.
That would be Daniel Berger, who had withdrawn due to injury.
“Gutted to have to withdrawal from the [@} JDCLASSIC this week,” Berger wrote on Twitter. “I am working on getting back to 100 percent but do not feel prepared to tee it up on Thursday. I want to wish all the players luck and thank [@} JohnDeere for their continued support.”
Though Berger did not specify the nature of his injury, the Ryder Cupper pulled out of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro and the Mexico Open earlier this season due to back issues. Berger, who missed the cut at the U.S. Open two weeks ago and finished T-5 at the Memorial earlier this month, has played in just 12 events total this year and ranks 67th in the FedEx Cup.
Berger was the only player in the World’s Top 50 registered for the event. He had recently become an ambassador for the John Deere brand earlier this year.
Berger wasn’t the only loss for the John Deere Classic on Monday. Rising star Davis Riley is also no longer in the field. A Rookie of the Year candidate, Riley has six top-10 finishes on the season and ranks 22nd in the FedEx Cup.
Though the John Deere Classic has historically struggled to attract marquee attractions, this year has been especially tough, sandwiched between two New England events (the U.S. Open and Travelers Championship) followed by the Scottish Open and Open Championship overseas. Sans Berger and Riley, the field is now headlined by Sahith Theegala (fresh off a T-2 at the Travelers Championship), Webb Simpson and Jason Day.