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Darren Clarke withdraws from Masters

ESPN staff
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Darren Clarke missed the Valero Texas Open in a bid to be fit for The Masters © PA Photos
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Darren Clarke has been forced to withdraw from The Masters after pulling a hamstring on holiday in the Bahamas.

The 2011 Open champion pulled out of the Valero Texas Open in a bid to be fit for the year's first major but has conceded defeat ahead of Thursday's first round.

"It is with deep regret that I will not be able to play at Augusta this year," Clarke said in a statement on his official website. "Playing in The Masters is one of golf's greatest pleasures and I am very disappointed to be missing out."

The 44-year-old Northern Irishman missed the cut at Augusta National last year, his first appearance since 2007. He will remain in the Bahamas for treatment, and has not yet set a date for his return to action.

The Masters does not keep alternates on standby and will now feature 93 players, meaning there is still no place for Marcel Siem, the only member of the world's top 50 to miss out on an invitation to Augusta National.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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