Henrik Stenson pulls out of Qatar Masters with knee and foot problems
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 23/01/16 1:23pm
Henrik Stenson has pulled out of next week's Qatar Masters after complaining of pain in his knee and foot during the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
Stenson underwent keyhole surgery on his right knee the week after finishing a distant runner-up to Marc Leishman at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa in early December.
The Swede salvaged a level-par 72 with three straight birdies from the 15th to reach the halfway stage just three off the lead in Abu Dhabi - his first event since his operation - but he admitted afterwards that he was far from fully fit.
Stenson will now have a week off before returning for the final tournament in the Desert Swing at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which starts on February 4.
"It's been a struggle," said the 39-year-old before beginning his third round. "Not so much for the knee; it's getting a bit swollen from playing golf and walking, but the foot is taking a lot of strain. So I feel like I've done about a thousand toe-ups.
"I've decided to not push that any further and take a rest for next week. Unfortunately I have to pull out of the Qatar Masters and get some rest and rehab and hopefully we can push on from there."
Stenson was three over for his round when play was halted due to darkness on Friday following a long delay for fog at the start of the second day, and the resumption of play on Saturday morning was also held up for almost three hours due to a similar problem.
But the world No 5 enjoyed a profitable 90 minutes with coach Pete Cowen which helped him get back to seven under by the end of his round.
"I played horrendous on the front nine yesterday and I was scrambling for three over, so that could have been a lot worse but not any better," Stenson added.
"I was out there in the fog for an hour and a half with Pete this morning working away on some stuff and obviously that worked a little bit better than what I was doing yesterday."