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Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK
Tired Torrance withdraws
Torrance holds the Ryder Cup aloft
Sam Torrance is tired after an emotional week
Triumphant European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance has withdrawn from the Dunhill Links Championship, citing a neck injury and exhaustion.

The 49-year-old Scot guided Europe to a famous victory over the United States at The Belfry and did not feel he was able to prepare properly for the latest stop on the European Tour.

"I have been carried along on a tide of emotion since Sunday night and feel physically and emotionally drained by the euphoria of the Ryder Cup victory," he said in a statement sent to the tournament organisers on Wednesday.

"I also have a problem with my neck which is causing some discomfort and, in the circumstances, I don't feel fully prepared to play this week."

Meanwhile, Open champion Ernie Els may also make an exit, if his wife goes into labour with his second child in the next five days.

"My wife (Liezl) is heavily pregnant at the moment," the big South African told a news conference on Wednesday.

"The date is next week and hopefully she hangs on this week because, if she doesn't, I'll be out of here.

"I want to be there for the birth, obviously, but I know she'll hang on."

Els, pushed into second place last year by Paul Lawrie's dramatic 40-foot putt from the Valley of Sin in front of St Andrews's 18th green, will partner his father Neels in the pro-am competition.

Paul Lawrie defends his Dunhill trophy
"It would be very cruel on my dad if Liezl does go into labour early - he's been long forward to this even more than I have," said Els.

The pair begin at Carnoustie on Thursday, then switch to Kingsbarns on Friday and St Andrews on Saturday, after which the top 60 professionals and top 20 teams qualify for the final round over the Old Course.

A total of 168 teams will begin the tournament, with a strong field competing for the 3.2m prize fund.

Nine of Europe's Ryder Cup winning side will be in Scotland: Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinlay, Niclas Fasth, Pierre Fulke, Thomas Bjorn and Philip Price.

Along with defending champion Lawrie, other former major winners include Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, Nick Faldo and Jose Maria Olazabal.

The line-up of celebrities taking part includes former sportsmen Steve Redgrave, Nigel Mansell, Ruud Gullit, Ian Botham, Johan Cruyff, Bobby Charlton, Kenny Dalglish, Gavin Hastings and Gary Lineker.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Tony Adamson
"The effect of victory has caught up with Torrance"
Reigning champion Paul Lawrie
"I'm looking forward to a good week"
Wales' Phillip Price
"Hopefully the Ryder Cup was the boost I needed"
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