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Seve Ballesteros pulls out of Masters

Twice champion Severiano Ballesteros has pulled out of this year's U.S. Masters because of a knee injury.

The Spaniard recovered from crippling arthritis last year and had high hopes of playing regularly in 2005, including in the Masters from April 8-11.

"After a long and difficult training process and having reached the point where I felt satisfied with my progress, I noticed an injury (to my) right knee cartilage," the 47-year-old said a statement on Friday.

"To my regret this ailment has made me give up participating in the forthcoming Masters."

Ballesteros won the Masters in 1980 and 1983, two of the five major wins in his career.

"To face an event of such ... as The Masters in such unfavourable physical circumstances would mean ... not (showing) having respect to those whom I owe so much," he added.

Ballesteros said he still hoped to play in the Spanish Open in a week after the Masters, the British Open at St Andrews in July and the eponymous Seve Trophy event in September.


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