Stuart Appleby has been moved from the morning marquee group as injury threatens to derails his Emirates Australian Open bid.
After tournament organisers announced Appleby in the feature Thursday group with Rory McIlroy and fellow Victorian Geoff Ogilvy, he alerted officials of an ongoing back complaint.
Tournament director Trevor Herden said Appleby alerted them to minimise any disruption to the marquee match.
“He didn’t want to cause any inconvenience to anyone in such an important group, so it was good of him to let us know,” Herden said.
Sydney’s Matt Jones was moved from the following group and will now be alongside the Northern Irish world No.1 and tee off at 7.05am.
Appleby was moved into the following group, alongside past champion John Senden and boom amateur Lucas Herbert.
Herden said that should Appleby’s injury not improve and he’s forced to withdraw, the next alternate into the field would take his spot in that 7.15am group.
“That’s the case with any other player and at any other tournament,” he said.
“We are just trying to keep things as smooth as possible around Rory’s group, so we appreciate the notice Stuart has given us.”
The first alternate is Christchurch-born, Gold Coast based Blake McGrory.
Korean player Kim Tae-Woo has withdrawn, replaced in the field by the next available alternate player from the OneAsia Tour, Australia&aposs Nabil Abdul.