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Els pulls out of Tampa Bay with hip issues

Three-time major champion Ernie Els has announced his withdrawl from the Tampa Bay Championship due to nagging issues with his right hip that were exacerbated during the weekend's WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Els is due to have an MRI and will skip the Florida based event to address any procedures that may need to be carried out.

“It's been on and off for a while, and probably for about four or five months now,” Els said, pointing to the front of his right hip. “I've been working out and trying to get fit and strong, but it's just kind of lingering. I've got to try and work it out.”

“I've got to get this sorted,” the South African added. “It's been bugging me for a while, and then it really went into spasm Thursday. I was like on the tee, almost gone.”

Last year Els led at Tampa up till the penultimate hole when some ill-timed bogeys saw him falter and ultimately place tied fifth. Regardless of this disappointment, the Big Easy still has good memories of the course,

“I took Bay Hill off; I was going to play Tampa because I love Tampa, it's a great course, Els said. “Bay Hill you could be hitting good shots and still get penalized. With Tampa you've got to play good golf. It's a very fair course. But I can't play feeling like this.”

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