Originally created 03/27/04

Ballestros out



MADRID, Spain - Two-time Masters Tournament champion Seve Ballesteros pulled out of next month's major because of back pain.

It will be the first time the Spaniard has missed the tournament since he was first invited to play in 1978. He won in 1980 and 1983.

His nephew, Ivan Ballesteros, speaking on behalf of the golfer's Amen Corner organization, told The Associated Press that his uncle is unable to play at Augusta.

"He has suffered from back pain for a long time," Ivan Ballesteros said. "But it was during his build-up to the Masters at the Doral golf resort in Miami that the pain grew unbearable. He has now flown back to Spain."