KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C—Francesco Molinari withdrew from the PGA Championship Thursday morning.
The PGA of America announced Molinari’s decision an hour before his 8:00 a.m. scheduled tee time with Zach Johnson and Scottie Scheffler at the Ocean Course. Molinari cited a back injury as the reason for dropping out.
The 2018 Open champ, who took most of the 2020 season off, entered Kiawah on a bit of a cold streak, missing the cut in three of his past four starts. Molinari is No. 120 on the FedEx Cup standings and No. 144 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
In Molinari’s place is Brandon Hagy. It will mark Hagy’s first career major start. Earlier this season Hagy, 30, was the sixth alternate at the Honda Classic, and despite not arriving at the tournament until Wednesday went on to finish second in the event.
C.T. Pan now becomes the first alternate.