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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 20 May, 2019
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Holiday injury forces Darren Clarke out of the Masters

Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke has withdrawn from the Masters after he injured himself while in the Bahamas.

Image: Jon Super/AP/Press Association Images

DARREN CLARKE’S BID to win golf’s fabled green jacket is over before it even started.

The former Open champion was forced to withdraw from the Masters today after he pulled his hamstring while on holidays.

“It is with deep regret that I will not be able to play at Augusta this year,” Clarke said in a statement published through his official website.

“Playing in The Masters is one of golf’s greatest pleasures and I am very disappointed to be missing out.”

Clarke was one of 94 players due to tee off when the season’s first Major gets underway at Augusta National this week. As there is no official alternate list, it is unlikely that another player will get a last-minute invitation to replace him.

The 44-year-old Northern Irishman was holidaying in the Bahamas when the injury happened. He withdrew from last week’s Valero Texas Open in the hope of speeding up his recovery but despite “intensive treatment”, he will not be ready in time for Thursday’s tee-off.

“Darren is to continue with treatment in The Bahamas,” the statement read, “but will not make a decision on his comeback until the problem has been resolved.”

The world’s top 50 players are among those automatically included on the elite Masters invite list, one of the smallest fields in professional golf.  Clarke, who is currently ranked 223rd in the world, receives an exemption as a result of his Major win at the 2011 Open Championship.

Condoleezza Rice nailed a 40-footer at Augusta yesterday (and Lefty loved it!)

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Niall Kelly

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