Rose could have supplanted Dustin Johnson to become world No. 1 with a win at Firestone.
And then there were 49. Of the top 50 players in the world, that is.
World No. 2 Justin Rose withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone Invtiational on Wednesday afternoon due to back spasms, the PGA Tour's communications department announced. He is expected to compete in next week's PGA Championship at Bellerive.
Prior to Rose's withdrawal, each of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking were scheduled to tee it up in what will be the final edition of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club. The tournament, which Tiger Woods has won eight times, will be replaced by the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis next season.
Adam Hadwin withdrew from the tournament Tuesday, and the limited field is now down from 73 to 71.
Rose had an outside chance to supplant Dustin Johnson this week and become the world's top-ranked player for the first time in his career. The 38-year-old would have needed to win and have Johnson finish outside the top 15.
Rose has been playing some of the best golf of his career over the last 12 months, posting 18 top 10s and four wins worldwide. The Englishman finished tied for second at the British Open despite making the cut on the number with a birdie on 18 on Friday.