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Howell criticised for not defending Australian PGA

England's David Howell came under fire from one of Australia's leading golfers on Wednesday for refusing to defend his Australian PGA title.

Howell won last year's Australian PGA championship by seven shots before claiming his first European Tour crown at the Desert Classic in Dubai.

He had planned to defend his title when the PGA starts at the Victorian Golf Club on Thursday, but changed his mind after finishing equal 24th in last month's Australian Open and went home.

Australian golfer Craig Parry, who won the tournament in 1992, criticised Howell's late withdrawal from the 95-year-old event, Australia's second oldest golf tournament.

"There's only so many weeks in the year you can play and I understand that. I just think that if you've won a championship you should defend it," Parry said.

"That's what you're playing for, the title, when it's all said and done. The money's great but you're playing for the title.