Next week's Uniqlo Masters at Huntingdale has been dealt a blow with the late withdrawal of South Africa's Ernie Els from the tournament.
Els, who was headlining the event along with Adam Scott, informed the organisers this week that he had to withdraw for family reasons.
He was quoted in a Herald Sun report as saying: "I was truly looking forward to the Australian Masters, but my family must come first and I have made the decision to forego the tournament and spend an extra week at home with them. I would like to apologise for this late decision and wish the tournament organisers and sponsors all the very best for a successful event.''
Scott and fellow-Queenslander Steven Bowditch will be the primary players in the field now that Els is out.
The Australian Masters tees off at Huntingdale, its venue for the first 30 years of the tournament, next Thursday, returning to its original venue for the first time since 2008.
Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and the tournament will again provide free entry for children under the age of 16 accompanied by a paying adult. Please refer to www.australianmasters.com.au for ticket and general event information.