Former US Open champion Justin Rose has withdrawn from next week’s BMW PGA Championship due to a back injury.
Rose, who lost a play-off to Anders Hansen at Wentworth in 2007 and was joint second in 2012, is coming off a top-20 finish at the Players Championship at Sawgrass and a final round of 66.
But he wrote on Twitter: “It is with deep disappointment that I must announce that I will not be able to play the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
“I battled the onset of back pain all week at the Players Championship and symptoms worsened during my week at home. I have a great team of people around me who are working diligently to help me get as fit as possible as soon as possible and I must fully focus on rehab at this time.
“I am incredibly sad to have to miss what I regard as my home event, particularly as it’s a premier event on the European Tour schedule.
“Pending how I feel over the next several days, I am hopeful to make it out to Wentworth one day over the weekend to pay tribute to the tournament, volunteers and spectators. I wish BMW, the European Tour and all the players a successful event, and I thank them and my fans for the continued support.”
Rose’s absence is a further blow to the European Tour’s ‘’flagship’’ event after 2014 champion Rory McIlroy, whose foundation is hosting this week’s Irish Open, opted not to play.
Speaking ahead of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai last November, European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said he wanted to see the BMW PGA Championship offering more prize money than its current ‘’unacceptable’’ 5.1million euros (£3.9m).
‘’A lot of people talk about Wentworth as being a flagship event,’’ Pelley said. ‘’Wentworth is 5.1million euros. The other event in the US that week is 6.1m (£4.68m). That’s unacceptable. Wentworth needs to be eight to 10million (US) dollars.
‘’Our flagship event right here is the DP World Tour Championship, which is eight million dollars (£5.5m) plus a bonus prize.’’