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Ballesteros withdraws from Open

For the second year running Seve Ballesteros has pulled out of the Open championship.

No reason has been given for the Spaniard’s withdrawal from next week’s event at Royal St George’s in Kent, but when he will next be seen on any course is now open to question.

Ballesteros, 46, has not played since the Benson and Hedges International Open in May and the European Tour said yesterday that the only tournament they have him entered for is the Lancome Trophy in Paris from 11-14 September.

The three-time Open champion was to have played the Volvo PGA at Wentworth in late May, but just before he was due to tee off he scratched citing ’flu symptoms.

The previous evening Ballesteros had been fined and severely reprimanded for incidents at the Italian Open, where he called tour officials the "PGA mafia" and criticised chief referee John Paramor, who had disqualified him for not accepting a one-shot penalty for slow play.

Ballesteros played in every Open from his debut in 1975 until 2001, but last year withdrew after being disqualified from the Irish Open for signing for a wrong score


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