European stars not tempted by big money in Florida
THREE European stars have all decided not to play in next week's Players Championship in Florida.
Ryder Cup pair Lee Westwood and Miguel Angel Jimenez are taking a rest, while big-hitting Alvaro Quiros has entered the Italian Open rather than making his debut in what is unofficially referred to as golf's fifth major.
"It's not a major," said Jimenez, defending his decision. "There's lots of money (first prize is a massive 1.1 million), lots of world ranking points and it's a very important tournament, but I want to concentrate on Europe and the majors.
"Quiros, also competing this week at the Spanish Open in Girona, said: "I've been to America three times this year already. I'm a little bit tired and need to rest to keep fit for the US Open and the rest of the year."
Jimenez finished 32nd at Sawgrass last year, while Westwood missed the cut after rounds of 73 and 78.
Defending champion Sergio Garcia is left as the only Spaniard in the field.
On the course, two double bogeys destroyed any hopes John Daly had of a top-10 finish on his return to golf. The former Open champion, out since December and still serving a six-month US Tour ban imposed after he was put in jail to sober up last October, fell deep into the pack with a third-round 74 at the Spanish Open in sunny Girona.
Ryder Cup player Soren Hansen made a complete mess of the same hole for the second day running to hand Frenchman Thomas Levet a three-stroke lead midway through the third round.
After finishing his second round with a double-bogey six on the 478-yard ninth, Hansen fared even worse on his return. After hooking his drive and hitting a cart path, Hansen then three-putted for a triple bogey seven sending him crashing from 12 under to nine under.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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