PGA Tour

Willett forced to pull out of Palmer Invitational

2017-03-17 08:04
Danny Willett (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Danny Willett has pulled out of this weekend’s Arnold Palmer Invitational - just three weeks before he is due to begin the defence of his Masters Title.

Willett was due to compete in the PGA Tour event in Florida, but pulled out of the event due to illness and was replaced in the field by American Blayne Barber.

"Really sad to have to withdraw from the @APinv I've been up all night with terrible sickness.

"Not ideal but felt it worse to take a spot from the first reserve if I wasn't able to finish... Come Sunday I'm sure there'll be great champ once again," tweeted the 29-year-old.

Willett's absence from Bay Hill leaves the world No 14 with just one tournament to find some form ahead of the Masters.

He is due to compete in next week's WGC-Dell Match Play.

The 29-year-old finished fifth at last month's Maybank Championship after blowing a three-shot lead going into the final day, and then failed to make the cut at both the Honda Classic and WGC-Mexico Championship.

This week's tournament is the first since golfing great Palmer died last year at the age of 87.

The seven-time major winner started the event in 1979 after buying the Bay Hill Club.

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