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Jason Dufner, defending PGA champion, withdraws with neck injury

Defending champion Jason Dufner has withdrawn from the PGA Championship because of a neck injury.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 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. Qualifying for the Americans ends this week. He has said he would be willing to skip the FedEx Cup playoffs to be healthy for the Sept. 26-28 matches in Scotland.

If he doesn't earn one of the nine qualifying spots, Dufner says he likely won't be picked.