Golf: Ricochet downs Wilkinson

SYDNEY - The embarrassed New Zealand golfer Tim Wilkinson is not expected to miss any PGA Tour events despite withdrawing from the Sony Open in Hawaii after a shot ricocheted into his collarbone.

Wilkinson withdrew from the $7.44 million tournament at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu midway through his second round on Saturday after the freak accident.

The Manawatu player, having shot an opening round 77, was one-under on the eighth hole of his second round when he played a shot out of aditch.

The ball reportedly struck a nearby tree and ricocheted back at him, hitting his collarbone.

While the pain was enough to force him out of the tournament, Wilkinson's manager was quoted as saying embarrassment was the overriding feeling.

There was reportedly no serious damage and Wilkinson was expected to be fit for his next scheduled PGA Tour event, the $.8.6 million Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles starting on February 4.

Wilkinson opted for the Los Angeles tournament over the New Zealand Open in Queenstown, which starts on January 28, because he would have just two days to prepare for the PGA event.

"I wanted to play the New Zealand Open and I would like to play it.

"But I never entered the tournament and I need to prepare well for thePGA tour events," he said lastweek.

"I don't want to travel all around the place and not be prepared to play my best over there."

The injury continued a bad run of luck for Wilkinson as he tries to consolidate his PGA tour card.

He is playing on a medical exemption this year after a thumb injury forced him out of the tour last June.

- NZPA

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