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Ian Woosnam
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Woosnam pulls out of English Open

Ian Woosnam has withdrawn from the Compass Group English Open starting at Hanbury Manor on Thursday and could be out of golf for several weeks after injuring himself playing with his children at home.

Woosnam damaged tendons in his fingers in the incident, which comes just as he was hoping to take a big leap from his current 27th place in the Ryder Cup race.

The 41-year-old Jersey-based Welshman has been an ever-present for Europe since his debut in 1983 but has gone two years without a victory, is down to 80th in the world rankings and did not qualify for the US Open in a fortnight.

Four weeks ago, however, he was fifth in the French Open, and a 26th place finish in the Volvo PGA championship at Wentworth on Monday left him thinking that good times could be just around the corner.

But now he is battling to recover fitness for the final run-in to the year-long Ryder Cup race.

George O'Grady, deputy executive director of the European tour, said: "Ian could be out for four to six weeks, although he is hoping it will be shorter than that.

"I don't know the exact circumstances of how the injury happened. But he is very disappointed - he was really looking forward to playing this week.

"He has been showing a bit of form and thought he could win in the next two or three weeks and so boost his Ryder Cup chances."

Woosnam is not the first player to suffer at the hands of his children. Tom Lehman, another former world number one, nearly missed the Open last July and eventually had surgery after injuring a shoulder on a fairground ride.

Woosnam damaged some tendons when his fingers were caught in a door.