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Ian Poulter has pulled out of this week’s Abu Dhabi Golf Championship after doctor’s advised him to undergo eye corrective eye surgery as soon as possible.

The world number 26 finished in a tie for ninth at last year’s event and expressed his disappointment at missing out at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

“It is with great regret that I have to withdraw from the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship,” said the 33-year-old.

“My doctors advised me to have this surgery as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration. I’m relieved the problem can be corrected by surgery.”

The Abu Dhabi Golf Championship is the first leg of The European Tour’s exciting three-week ‘Gulf Swing’ that also heads to Qatar for the Qatar Masters, and Dubai for the Dubai Desert Classic.

The coming weeks will see the Race to Dubai really hot up, and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship will see Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia renew their rivalry.

Gallery: Race to Dubai favourites

Harrington denied the Spaniard a first Major by winning the last Major of the year in 2008 at the US PGA Championship, and recently revealed that there was tension between the pair.

See also:

Ian Poulter: What’s in the bag?
Harrington reveals tension with Garcia
Gallery: Happy 29th birthday Sergio Garcia