The Masters 2013: Darren Clarke withdraws from Augusta

Former Open champion suffering from hamstring injury

Former Open champion Darren Clarke has been been forced to withdraw from this week's Masters through injury.

Clarke pulled a hamstring more than a week ago while on holiday on the Bahamian island of Abaco and will miss the season's first major championship, which gets under way on Thursday.

"It is with deep regret that I will not be able to play at Augusta this year," Clarke said on his official website. "Playing in The Masters is one of golf's greatest pleasures and I am very disappointed to be missing out."

Clarke pulled out of last week's Valero Texas Open in the hope that further rest would speed his recovery, but intensive treatment twice a day failed to have the required results.

The 44-year-old Northern Irishman, who missed the cut at Augusta last year on his first appearance since 2007, has yet to set a date for his return to action.

PA

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