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Rain Prompts Woosnam to Drop Out of BellSouth

Associated Press
Saturday, April 2, 2005; Page D03

Ian Woosnam will have to wait until next week's Masters to make his first appearance of 2005 in the United States.

Woosnam, the 1991 Masters champion, was scheduled to make his first start at the BellSouth Classic in Duluth, Ga., but withdrew yesterday after the opening round was delayed a second day because of rain.

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After Thursday's opening round was washed out, the rain fell at TPC at Sugarloaf again yesterday, postponing the first round until today.

"It's very difficult," said Woosnam, Europe's Ryder Cup captain for 2006. "You tend to get very stiff sitting around just waiting."

Woosnam didn't give a reason for dropping out, but had complained recently of back problems.

Four other players withdrew yesterday. They were Stuart Appleby, ranked No. 13 in the world, Chris DiMarco, ranked No. 15, Steve Flesch and David Peoples. Peoples is the only one of the five not in the field for the Masters.

Appleby and Flesch each cited sciatica problems. DiMarco and Peoples did not give a reason.

Players do not have to give a reason immediately, but have to notify the PGA Tour commissioner within 14 days, explaining why they dropped out.

"Every year I look forward to this time. That's why I play this week to try to get myself into a bit of better shape going into Augusta," Woosnam said earlier.

"It's a place I absolutely love and adore. I've missed the cut the last couple of years. It would be nice to make the cut and hopefully challenge some way or other."

EUROPE: England's Paul Broadhurst and Portugal's Jose Filipe Lima shared the lead at 8 under par after the second round of the Portugal Open in Cascais, while Simon Dyson set a course record with a 64.

Dyson was one stroke back, along with Barry Lane, after seven birdies and an eagle for a 7 under at the Oitavos Golf Club.

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