The Masters 2013: 'Freak' tennis injury forces Darren Clarke to miss out on Augusta
Hamstring problem rules out 2011 Open winner
A hamstring injury sustained on holiday in the Bahamas has forced Darren Clarke to withdraw from the Masters. Clarke has had a wretched run since his victory at the 2011 Open at Royal St Georges, a win that earned him an exemption at the majors for five years.
"It is with deep regret that I will not be able to play at Augusta this year," Clarke said. "Playing in the Masters is one of golf's greatest pleasures and I am very disappointed to be missing out."
Clarke was playing tennis with his two sons a fortnight ago when the small tear in his hamstring occurred. Intensive treatment has not helped. "It was just one of those freak injuries which is really disappointing," he said. "I have done absolutely everything to be at Augusta: physio, ultrasound and icing, but I cannot physically turn through shots and there is no point in going to the Masters if you are not 100 per cent fit. Understandably, I am absolutely gutted but I hope to be fit enough to be back for the Ballantine's Championship on the European Tour in a couple of weeks' time."
Clarke was not the only one in the wars. Jose Maria Olazabal left one fan a bloody mess after striking him in the head with his ball at the eighth during the first day of practice. Wearing a red shirt Olazabal rushed to the scene where the spectator received immediate treatment before leaving with his head heavily bandaged. Olazabal, the last European to win at Augusta, sent him on his way with a signed glove.
Augusta rookie Nicolas Colsaerts had the best possible coaching for his debut – with an hour-long talk from six-time winner Jack Niklaus.
Colsaerts, 30, said: "I was chatting to his son Jack Jnr in the clubhouse and said: 'What would be your best advice for your first Masters?'
"He said: 'I would just talk to dad' and asked if I'd like him to call him. Jack said he could come over and I felt pretty lucky. I spent an hour with him and went through every hole on the course!"
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
Animal welfare charities have urged the boy band to cut the scenes
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo applauded by Liverpool fans after master-class for Real Madrid, despite Manchester United ties
Gus Poyet: In other places I would have been sacked straight after 8-0 Southampton defeat, says Sunderland manager
Angel Di Maria injury latest: Argentina international set to play in Manchester United vs Chelsea match
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are