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Seve Ballesteros pulls out of Masters

Severiano Ballesteros has pulled out of the Masters in April.

"To the media and the sporting press in particular, my Spanish fans and followers, I would like to inform them that I have notified the board of directors of the Augusta National that I will not be taking part in the 2006 Masters," the Spaniard said in a statement on Wednesday.

"My sole reason for not taking part is that I am not as well prepared as I need to be to compete in such a magnificent tournament."

Last month, Ballesteros said he planned to play the British Open and the Masters as well as 10 to 12 European Tour events this year.

"I feel more sorry than anyone about having to take this decision, but I have thought it through carefully and believe that to play in Augusta with the elite of world golf requires a different level of form to that which I can offer," he said.

The five-times major winner was bed-ridden with back pain two years ago before returning to action in October. Ballesteros said last month he planned to retire in 2011 when he is 54.

March 9, 2006


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