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Back Injury Could Prevent Appleby's Defence

Defending champion may be out of Australian Masters

Posted Dec 14, 2011 by Chris White

Defending champion Stuart Appleby could be forced to pull out of the Australian Masters

Defending Australian Masters champion Stuart Appleby may be forced to withdraw from his defence of the title due to chronic pain in his lower back. The nine-time PGA Tour winner has struggled for form in 2011, and this blow caps what has been a horrendous year.

Appleby goes up against the likes of Luke Donald – winner of both Tour money lists – in Melbourne this week, but has admitted “I don’t know my body well enough to know whether I can manufacture something from an ad hoc swing or whether it’s a futile fight that I need to try another day.

“I just hope I can get on top of the injury in the next 24 hours to get me to the first tee.”

The Australian has endured a troubled season since winning by one shot at the Victoria Club a year ago, missing eleven cuts and making just one top ten finish, twice having to withdraw from competitions after the opening round.

He then missed the cut at the Australian Open and saw the International team lose to the United States in the Presidents Cup, and tied for 19th in the Australian PGA Championship.

What has been the problem for Appleby in 2011? Tell us what you think here, on Twitter @ImagineGolfClub and on Facebook by clicking here.

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