Golf: Olazabal out of Irish Open

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Jose-Maria Olazabal has pulled out of this week's Murphy's Irish Open at Mount Juliet. The Spaniard is having treatment for a small tumour on his right foot, and has decided to rest rather than risk aggravating the problem just a fortnight before the Open at St Andrews.

Mark Roe and Italy's Costantino Rocca have also withdrawn from the tournament. Roe, the top European at the US Open last month, has had knee trouble since, while Rocca has been suffering from shoulder pain.

The Irish Open still boasts a quality field, including the world No 1, Greg Norman, the defending champion Bernhard Langer, and Seve Ballesteros, who missed the French Open two weeks ago because of a back injury.

Two members of Europe's 1993 Ryder Cup team - Peter Baker of England and Sweden's Joakim Haeggman - are among the players who have been forced to enter the qualifying rounds for the Open.

Other former Ryder stalwarts, including Eamonn Darcy and Paul Broadhurst, are also included in the list, although Broadhurst's victory in the French Open last week puts him in line to be spared the ordeal.

After the Irish Open, five players will be given exemptions based on their form in the last seven weeks, and Broadhurst currently lies fifth on the list.

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