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CAPE TOWN, Dec 31 (Reuters) - A wretched Christmas for South African golfer Charl Schwartzel has been compounded by having to withdraw from next week's South African Open when the European PGA Tour resumes after the holiday break.
The former U.S Masters winner has been in and out of hospital in recent days for rehydration treatment after being afflicted by a stomach virus, as were many family members gathered for the festive season.
While Schwartzel is on the mend, he has been forced to pull out of one of the few domestic titles he has yet to win, South Africa's Sunshine Tour said on Thursday.
"I am hugely disappointed to be missing out on the SA Open," he said in a statement.
"Everybody knows how keen I am to win our national Open and, having come so close the last couple of years and following my good form at Leopard Creek, I was really looking forward to contending at Glendower.
"I look forward to being strong and healthy in time for the Joburg Open the following week, however," Schwartzel added.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Alan Baldwin