Three Ryder Cup stars out

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Three members of last year’s European Ryder Cup team have pulled out of this week’s Wales Open at Celtic Manor.

Three members of last year’s European Ryder Cup team have pulled out of this week’s Wales Open at Celtic Manor.

They are Englishman Oliver Wilson and Dane Soren Hansen, who are both suffering with back injuries, and Swede Robert Karlsson who is out because of an inner ear infection.

The priority for all three, of course, is to get themselves as healthy as possible for the US Open in two weeks’ time and anything that might endanger that option in the meantime is to be avoided.

Wilson withdrew from the Players Championship in Florida last month with neck trouble and a chest condition called costo chondritis, an inflammation of the region where the ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the sternum.

He returned at the following week’s Irish Open, but after finishing 14th there he has missed the cut for the last two weeks.

Hansen would have been playing for the sixth week in a row if he had competed in Wales, but decided his back needed a rest after finishing eighth in the European Open this weekend.

Karlsson, last season’s European number one, has not had a top-10 finish since he was fourth in Dubai at the start of February and has been battling with his ear infection for some time.

Miguel Angel Jimenez is left as the only member of Nick Faldo’s side in the field, although the tournament does have Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin, the two captains for next year’s match, playing this week on the new Twenty Ten course built specifically to cater for the Ryder Cup and other top-notch events.

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