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By Tony Jimenez
VIRGINIA WATER, England, May 22 (Reuters) - World number seven Sergio Garcia pulled out of the BMW PGA Championship with an injury to his left knee after opening his Wentworth campaign with a one-over-par 73 on Thursday.
“Unfortunately it’s the same thing that happened on Sunday at the Spanish Open,” the 34-year-old Spaniard told reporters.
“It felt better, I guess from resting it on Monday and Tuesday, but I think from walking on it and going up and down hills today it’s been pinching.”
Garcia said he did not want to take any chances ahead of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, North Carolina in three weeks time.
”With the U.S. Open coming up...I don’t want it to get worse,“ he explained. ”I’ll go to the physio in Spain and see what he says.
“I‘m sure I‘m going to have to take some anti-inflammatories. Will probably have to do a little bit of work on it I‘m guessing but I don’t know exactly.”
Garcia went to hospital this week and was told the injury was down to an accumulation of fluid.
”I had an MRI done on Monday morning,“ he said. ”They checked it out and said it was a small edema on the kneecap.
“It kind of felt better on Monday and Tuesday and I was hoping I was going to be able to feel fine throughout the week. But the way I felt on the last four holes...I didn’t feel good at all.”
Garcia has never been a regular at the European Tour’s flagship event.
He has only featured in the tournament three times before, in 1999, 2000 and 2013, and has a best finish of tied fifth.
Garcia’s playing partners fared better on Thursday. German Martin Kaymer posted a 68 and fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a 72.
Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn was leading the way on 62, the lowest score in relation to par in the history of the 60-year-old event. (Editing by Ed Osmond)