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Sergio Garcia suffering back problems

Defending champion Sergio Garcia has withdrawn from the Booz Allen Classic due to a back injury, further depleting a field starving for big names in the week following the U.S. Open.

Garcia hurt his back at the Barclays Classic two weeks ago and withdrew from that tournament during the second round. He aggravated the injury during the U.S. Open and did not make the cut.

"The pain did not get any better during my two rounds at the U.S. Open, and therefore I feel that I am going to need to go home, take some time off, and get it looked at by a doctor," Garcia said.

Garcia, ranked No. 9 in the world, was the only golfer in the Top 20 entered in the Booz Allen, which begins Thursday at the TPC at Avenel. The highest ranked player in the field is now No. 23 Padraig Harrington.

The tournament has often struggled to attract big names. An exception was last year, when the event was held the week before the U.S. Open at the more prestigious Congressional Country Club.

The PGA Tour has announced plans to move the tournament to the fall next year, a move that prompted Booz Allen Hamilton not to renew its sponsorship deal. Officials are still trying to complete a deal with a new title sponsor.

June 21, 2006

 




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