Golf: Sore ribs put Snedeker out of WGC Match Play

World No. 4 Brandt Snedeker, coming off a victory at the US PGA Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, pulled out of next week's World Golf Championships event on Tuesday with sore ribs.

Snedeker will skip the $8.75 million WGC Match-Play Championship, joining Phil Mickelson as top players to drop out of the lineup of the 64-man showdown which starts February 20.

"I certainly will miss competing in the Match Play Championship," Snedeker said.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, second-ranked Tiger Woods and third-ranked Luke Donald of England will be the top seeds at next week's tournament.

Snedeker's withdrawal opens the door for World No. 5 Justin Rose of England to claim a top seed spot when pairings are made on Sunday.

Snedeker, who captured last year's PGA playoff title with a victory at the Tour Championship, had finished second to Woods at Torrey Pines and to Mickelson at Phoenix in the two weeks prior to his triumph.

US veteran Snedeker, who has played five of the first six weeks of the PGA season, began to feel soreness in his left rib cage last month.

But Snedeker was treated by his personal trainer and felt well until last Thursday's first round at Pebble Beach, when the pain returned.

Snedeker did not plan to play at the Honda Classic the week after the WGC event so the event he is targeting for a return is the WGC event at Doral next month.

On vacation with his family in Hawaii this week, Snedeker has already consulted with his doctor, who suggested immediate rest and said the rib issue did not seem to be a long-term problem.