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Defending champion Orr forced to withdraw

Defending champion Gary Orr has withdrawn from the British Masters because of an illness.

Orr became ill overnight with an upset stomach which caused him to miss the Pro-Am competition and he informed tournament officials early Wednesday afternoon of his inability to compete in the tournament proper.

"I donít know whether it is a bug or a touch of food poisoning but Iíve had pretty bad sickness and diarrhea and have had a rough night," said Orr.

"I didnít get much sleep so there was no way I was going to be able to play in the Pro-Am and it became pretty obvious I wouldn't be fit enough to play in the tournament either.

"Itís not the best of times for this to happen obviously as I was looking forward to defending the title, albeit on a different course. Iím very disappointed.

"Hopefully it will just be one of the those things that will sort itself out in a couple of days and I should be okay to play next week at the Forest of Arden."

Orr was expected to play in match 31 tomorrow alongside Ian Poulter and Andrew Coltart. His place will be taken by Englandís Sam Walker, who was due to play in the NCC Open on the European Challenge Tour, but will instead line up on The Marquess Course.

Colin Montgomerie is the 7-1 favorite with the sponsors to win the tournament. Andrew Oldcorn, winner of the Volvo PGA Championship on Monday, is a 50-1 shot.

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