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Coceres & Mickelson out of Mercedes event

Argentine Jose Coceres has withdrawn from this week's season-opening Mercedes Championship after breaking an arm.

Coceres, who won two tournaments on the US PGA Tour in 2001, sustained a hairline fracture of his right arm playing soccer at home last week.

"It's not a bad break, but he has withdrawn," said Mercedes tournament director Gary Planos.

Planos also said that Phil Mickelson would miss the event, starting at the Kapalua course on Maui on Friday, due to a "family get-together."

This leaves 32 players in the field for the exclusive event, restricted to 2001 tournament winners on tour.

Coceres, 38, was a steady performer on the European Tour for a decade, before making a surprisingly strong impression on the US Tour in 2001. Playing on a sponsor's invitation, he won the WorldCom Classic in South Carolina in April, and promptly became a tour member.

Despite a funny-looking swing, he continued to impress, and subsequently won the National Car Rental Classic in Florida in October, before finishing the year 34th on the money list.

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