(Updates with Clarke withdrawal)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida May 10 Britons David
Howell and Darren Clarke and Daisuke Maruyama of Japan withdrew
from the Players Championship on Thursday because of injury.
Howell, who has battled several fitness problems in recent
years, pulled out with a bad back after playing just two holes
of the opening round at the Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass.
Northern Irishman Clarke made his early exit after six holes
due to a lingering hamstring strain.
Clarke, like Howell, also withdrew from the second round of
last week's Wachovia Championship after tweaking a hamstring
injury first suffered last month.
Maruyama, a rookie on the PGA Tour last year, quit the
Players Championship with a bad back after shooting a
13-over-par 85 in difficult, blustery conditions.