- PGA Tour
Ernie Els pulls out of Tampa Bay Championship
Ernie Els will not play at this week's Tampa Bay Championship due to a hip problem.
Els, the reigning Open champion, was suffering with the issue at last week's WGC-Cadillac Championship. He still managed a tie for 28th place but was far from comfortable.
A veteran of the PGA Tour, Els is focusing all his efforts on preparation for The Masters, which starts on April 11. He plans a walk around Augusta National this week but will be relieving his body of a week's strain.
"The week didn't go too great, mainly because my right hip was causing me problems again," Els said. "It has been bugging me for a while now and then it really went into spasm on Thursday morning.
"I was on the first tee thinking, 'Maybe I shouldn't be starting this round.' I tried to play through it, but it's not feeling right. I've got to get this sorted.
"I'll have to pretty much rest-up for most of this week. Doctor orders, as they say."
Bubba Watson will enter the 2013 Masters as defending champion, having won a play-off last year.