GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) Defending champion Davis Love III withdrew from the Wyndham Championship on Tuesday after his doctor recommended removing kidney stones that had been bothering him for several weeks.
Love will enter a Brunswick, Ga., hospital on Thursday to have the stones broken into small pieces by sound waves so that they can pass from the body, according to tournament officials.
Love, who helped redesign the Forest Oaks Country Club course where the tournament will be held beginning Thursday, said he's disappointed to miss it.
"I was hoping that we could take care of this matter between tournaments," Love said in a statement, "but my doctor has advised me to take care of it as quickly as possible."
Love, who also won the 1992 event in Greensboro, is No. 43 in the latest World Golf rankings. His departure leaves Anders Hansen, the 40th-ranked golfer in the world, John Senden (No. 47) and Carl Pettersson (No. 48) as the only top 50 players in the field.
Bubba Watson, Shaun Micheel, J.B. Holmes, Jerry Kelly and Steve Flesch also withdrew from the tournament on Tuesday. Watson cited medical issues, tournament officials said.
Four other former winners of the PGA Tour's only annual stop in North Carolina joined Love and 2005 winner K.J. Choi in committing in July to return to the event that bears a new name, a new spot on the schedule and a new role as the last tournament before the FedEx Cup playoffs.