Operation sidelines Campion

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The Independent Online

Cassie Campion, who is unable to defend her title at the Women's World Open championship at Edinburgh this week, is likely to be out of competition for another three months after undergoing a back operation.

Cassie Campion, who is unable to defend her title at the Women's World Open championship at Edinburgh this week, is likely to be out of competition for another three months after undergoing a back operation.

The 27-year-old Englishwoman had 20 per cent of the discs removed from her back last week and may not be able to take any exercise for a month. She has been told not to play until January and is unlikely to make a competitive comeback before the national championships at the end of February.

Her absence increases the chances that New Zealand's Leilani Joyce, the first Maori to capture the British Open when she won the title in Aberdeen in 1999, will make another piece of history on her return to Scotland. Joyce, who has won her last four tournaments, is now funded by her tribe, the Tainui, and is seeded to become the first Maori to win a World Open.

Her main rival is the World Grand Prix title-holder, Carol Owens of Australia, whose countrywoman Sarah Fitz-Gerald, the three times world champion, hopes to make a serious challenge if her troublesome knee stands up to the pressure.

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