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Sterne to miss Africa Open
Last updated: 11th February 2013
Joburg Open winner Richard Sterne has withdrawn from the Africa Open after he qualified for the first World Golf Championship of 2013.
The 31-year-old South African's commanding seven-shot victory at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club lifted him to 56th on the latest world rankings and earned him a qualifying spot in the 64-man field for next week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
After the victory at the weekend - which was Sterne's first since he won the South African Open Championship in December 2008 - he is taking the week off in order to prepare for his first visit in four seasons to Dove Mountain in Arizona.
Two weeks ago he was ranked a lowly 165th in the world, but along with this weekend's win, top-10 finishes at the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic lifted him more than 100 places.
Sterne is the seventh South African to qualify for the Match Play event, after Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els, Branden Grace, George Coetzee and Tim Clark all confirmed their participation.
Oosthuizen will also be missing the Africa Open, despite tasting victory in East London for the last two years.
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the annual venue for the Nedbank Golf Challenge is ranked in the top 60 in the world and in the top two in South Africa.
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