Ballesteros pulls out of Open


Seve Ballesteros has fuelled speculation he may soon be retiring by withdrawing from next month's Open championship at Muirfield.

The 45-year-old Spaniard, a winner of three Opens and two US Masters titles, today faxed the secretary of the R&A, Peter Dawson, to inform him of his decision. No reason was given.

Ballesteros cut a sorry figure yesterday when he was disqualified from the Murphy's Irish Open at Fota Island having signed for the wrong score after completing an 18-over-par round of 89.

Earlier today Ballesteros, whose last tournament victory came in the Spanish Open seven years ago, pulled out of next week's Smurfit European Open at the K Club.

It had been expected Ballesteros would play in the 131st Open, taking place from July 18th-21st, but the Spaniard is now thought to be returning to Spain for a break.