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!"
Latest in Sport
Barbarians vs Samoa interrupted by sprinklers as fans criticise lack of Wi-Fi and poor seating at West Ham's Olympic Stadium
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger 'optimistic' of making signing, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Edinson Cavani linked
John Stones to Chelsea: Next season's bumper TV deal means clubs such as Everton can say 'no'
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2 player ratings: Who was to blame for Chelsea's defeat? Did Pedro impress on his home debut? Sako and Ward star
Kevin De Bruyne: Why do Manchester City put such a high value on a player Chelsea rejected?
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'