Cape Town - A neck injury forced South Africa's top-ranked golfer Louis Oosthuizen to withdraw from the Dubai Desert Classic.
The news was announced on the Dubai Desert Classic's Twitter account.
Oosthuizen was set to tee off in the opening round on Thursday alongside former Open champion Henrik Stenson and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen.
Sweden's Sebastian Soderberg took Oosthuizen's spot at the 11th-hour.
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Oosthuizen was looking forward to playing in the 30th edition of the Abu Dhabi Championship, tweeting on Wednesday: "Hard to believe I’ve been coming here for 15 years! Off early tomorrow at one of our favourite tournaments of the year."
Meanwhile there are 17 South Africans in the field at the Emirates Golf Club - including four-time Major champion Ernie Els and last week's Abu Dhabi Championship runner-up, Richard Sterne.