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Clarke skips Dubai after car crash

ESPN staff
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Darren Clarke is expected to be fit to return for the Pearl Golf Premier League event in India © Getty Images

Darren Clarke has pulled out of the Dubai Desert Classic to recover from a neck injury picked up in a minor traffic accident.

The 2011 Open champion's name was missing from the entry list for the final event of the European Tour's three-tournament 'Desert Swing'.

Clarke's manager Chubby Chandler said the 44-year-old had suffered a stiff neck in last week's accident, in which he was a passenger in the car, and "just needed to rest this week".

Clarke is expected to return in time for next week's inaugural Pearl Golf Premier League, a 14-hole tournament pitting eight three-man teams against one another at the Aamby Valley golf course in India.

Lee Westwood will make his first competitive appearance of the season in Dubai. The world No. 8 was runner-up at the event for the third time in 2012.

Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey and Gareth Maybin are also playing, along with defending champion Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain.

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