Stenson withdraws from BMW Masters

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson has withdrawn from this week’s BMW Masters following the birth of his third child.

Stenson’s withdrawal is a bitter blow to the European Tour’s flagship event after world number one Rory McIlroy revealed last week that he too won’t be available to play at Lake Malaren on Thursday.

Stenson won both the USPGA Tour’s Fedex Cup and the European Tour’s Race to Dubai after a stellar season which saw him reach number two on the world rankings.

“No 3 has arrived!!” Stenson posted on his Facebook page coupled with a picture of him holding the baby.

“Alice was born Sunday afternoon! Mommy did great! Lisa and Karl seems to be pretty happy with the new addition.”

The Swede is now expected to travel to Shanghai for next week’s World Golf Championships HSBC Champions tournament at Sheshan Golf Club.

Despite the absence of Stenson and McIlroy, the BMW Masters still boasts a stellar field, led by world number six Justin Rose along with several other members of the victorious European Ryder Cup team. Rose is odds-on favourite to win at the 2014 BMW Masters.

They are Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson, Graeme McDowell, Victor Dubuisson, Stephen Gallacher and Ian Poulter.

US champion Martin Kaymer of Germany and Lee Westwood of England won’t be participating, though.

Kaymer is no longer associated with NMW after switching sponsorship to rival German car Mercedes, while Westwood is taking part in Malaysia at the USPGA Tour’s CIMB Classic.