Jan 23, 2008

Defending Champion Goosen Out Of Qatar Masters

Vision problems were to much for Retief Goosen to compete this week and defend the Qatar masters. The South African came to Doha after undergoing corrective laser surgery ten days ago but during practice on Tuesday, his vision in one eye began to blur. He immediately travelled to Dubai for further treatment and was hopeful of playing the event even on Tuesday night. However, he announced his withdrawal Wednesday morning, saying he was still having problems with his vision.

Goosen said: "I am obviously very sad that I am unable to defend my title. I came all this way to play but unfortunately the eye is causing a problem.

"I thought it would come good but it hasn't. I went to Dubai yesterday and the advice was to go back to London for treatment.

"It is a shame as I love this event, love this course and I can't remember the last time I pulled out of a tournament."

The absence of Goosen, twice a winner of the US Open, is a body blow for a tournament that has grown in stature over the last few years and taken its central role in what has become known as the "Desert Swing" which includes the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and the Dubai Desert Classic.

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