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Jean Van de Velde makes latest comeback

Jean Van de Velde makes his latest comeback from adversity at this week's European Masters when he plays for the first time since his season ground to a halt in July through the effects of a virus.

The 41-year-old Frenchman, best known for triple bogeying the 72nd hole at the 1999 British Open, has rekindled his career three times following a knee injury suffered in a 2002 skiing accident but came back to win the Madeira Island Open last year.

Van de Velde's progress in 2007 looked promising with three top-10s, including a fourth place in the Singapore Masters in March, but then his health deteriorated with joint pain and sickness, leaving him "a wreck on the golf course".

"It's a virus called mononucleosis, the 'kissing virus' that young people get," Van de Velde told Reuters on Wednesday.

"I had it a very long time ago and it resurfaced. This time my antibodies didn't work. It's six months for it to go and I first started with it in March-April, so I'm pretty much over it now," he added.

"I've also got too much iron in my blood and I still have stomach inflammation but that will go, too.

"It's so fantastic to lose the pain in my joints. I wasn't even able to carry my luggage. I was so weak and I couldn't go more than two holes without being sick."

Van de Velde is so delighted to be back playing he has even given himself a chance of making Europe's 2008 Ryder Cup team.

"Now I'm back and I'm looking at making the Volvo Masters," he said. "The Ryder Cup? It's a funny old game. People might say I'm too old but I think I still have plenty of golf inside."


September 6, 2007

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