Couples, who was scheduled to line up at next week s Australian Open in Sydney has succumbed to a back injury which has rendered him unable to play. The former World Number 1 and 1992 US Masters champion had a flare-up of a lower back injury that makes it impossible to sit down for extended periods making the long plane trip to Australia impossible. I was immensely looking forward to coming back Down Under and playing in such a prestigious event like the Australian Open, said a disappointed Couples from his base in the US. I hope to be able to do so in the very near future. Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said, We are disappointed that Fred will not be able to join us in Sydney and wish him a speedy recovery. We have a fantastic field assembled and can t wait to see all players take on New South Wales Golf Club in an Australian Open for the first time. The Australian Open will boast Australia s greatest golfing talents including Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, Michael Sim, Mathew Goggin, Marc Leishman, Stuart Appleby and Greg Chalmers. The international contingent includes crowd favourite John Daly and fellow Americans Steve Marino, Kevin Stadler, Bryce Molder and players from Korea and Japan. In addition, Australian golf legend Greg Norman will attend the Australian Open to host a children s clinic on Saturday December 5 and will be commentating on Network Ten, the host broadcaster of the event. The Australian Open will be held from 3-6 December at New South Wales Golf Club.