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Injury forces Jose Maria Olazabal out of World Cup

Jose Maria Olazabal has pulled out of this month's World Cup in China because of his persistent problems with rheumatism.

Jose Manuel Lara will replace the twice former U.S. Masters champion and combine with Miguel Angel Jimenez in Spain's team at the Olazabal-designed Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzen from November 22-25.

"The joints in my shoulders and groin have been inflamed and even sitting down for any length of time has been painful," said Olazabal on the European Tour's official Web site.

"I am devastated to miss the World Cup as I was desperate to represent my country on a course I designed. I pushed as hard as I could to get there but it wasn't possible."

The 41-year-old Olazabal, a veteran of seven Ryder Cups, said he hoped to be competing again in the New Year.

"The good news is tests indicate a marked improvement and my long-term aim is to get back in action in January," said the 1994 and 1999 U.S. Masters champion.

"I believe I have another five or six good years in me and I want to get playing as soon as possible."

Olazabal's misfortune has opened the door for the 30-year-old Lara to make his debut in the event and try to secure Spain's fifth World Cup triumph.

Jimenez was among the first to congratulate Lara when he secured his maiden European Tour victory in last year's Hong Kong Open.

"Miguel knew the final round was a tough day for me," said Lara. "I had been close many times in the past and he knew that...so of course I am very happy to be playing with Miguel at Mission Hills."


November 8, 2007

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