Ernie Els: Suffered hip problems all week at Doral
Ernie Els has been forced to pull out of this week's Tampa Bay Championship in Florida due to a troublesome hip problem.
The Open champion played through the pain at last week's WGC-Cadillac Championship, and he has now decided to rest as he prepares for the Masters next month.
However, the 43-year-old confirmed on his website that he would take a "gentle walk" around Augusta National this week.
"Other than that I'll have to pretty much rest-up for most of this week," said Els, who failed to qualify for last year's Masters for the first time in his career. "Doctor orders, as they say."
Els broke 70 only once at Doral as he finished in a tie for 28th place, and he admitted experiencing problems with his hip just hours before he teed off on the first day.
"The week didn't go too great, mainly because my right hip was causing me problems again," Els said. "It has been bugging me for a while now and then it really went into spasm on Thursday morning.
"I was on the first tee thinking 'Maybe I shouldn't be starting this round.' Anyway, I tried to play through it, but it's not feeling right. I've got to get this sorted."