(Reuters) - Jason Day's preparations for his title defense at this week's Farmers Insurance Open outside San Diego were badly hampered on Wednesday when he withdrew from the pro-am competition because of flu-like symptoms.
The Australian world number two, who triumphed at Torrey Pines last year in a four-way playoff, also pulled out of his scheduled pre-tournament news conference on Wednesday.
However, PGA Tour officials said they still expect Day to tee off in Thursday's opening round at Torrey Pines as planned, from the 10th tee on the North Course.
Day, who enjoyed a career-best season on the PGA Tour last year that included his first major title at the PGA Championship among five wins, has been eagerly anticipating his title defense at Torrey Pines.
"(I'm) looking forward to getting back under way and trying to defend this tournament, which is very special to me," Day told reporters at the Farmers Insurance Open media day. "That kind of catapulted my year to turning the way it did."
Day, 28, heads a strong field at Torrey Pines this week where five players in the world's top 10 are scheduled to compete, including fourth-ranked American Rickie Fowler and seventh-ranked Englishman Justin Rose.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue