Golf: Torrance on tee after eye worry

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SAM TORRANCE returns to the European Tour in Portugal today after what he felt was the worst experience of his life. The 40-year-old Scot had to have hospital treatment last week for five cysts on his eyes.

'They were removed under local anaesthetic and that's something I'd never have done again,' he said. 'But at least it's sorted the problem out and it won't affect my build-up to the Masters next month.'

After attempting to win his third Portuguese Open at Penha Longa, a new course 15 miles to the west of Lisbon, Torrance plays in Indonesia next week. He may also accept an invitation to the Freeport McMoran Classic in New Orleans from 1 to 4 April before moving on to Augusta.

Now in his 24th year on the Tour, Torrance will be making only his second appearance in the Masters - reward for a 1993 during which he won three times, more than anybody else in Europe.

He has not played since missing the cut in Thailand six weeks ago when suffering from a skin problem on one of his feet. 'That still has not cleared up, but I'm not in pain any more,' he said.

Torrance won the Portuguese Open at Penina in 1982 and at Troia the following year. Victory this week would not only earn him pounds 50,000, but also give him honorary membership of Penha Longa. Another prize on offer is pounds 20,000 for a hole in one at the 205-yard 17th during Sunday's final round.

With Barry Lane, winner of the Balearic Open in Majorca last Sunday, resting before he moves on to Augusta, Torrance and Italy's Costantino Rocca are the only members of last September's Ryder Cup team taking part.