Great Britain & Ireland’s Simon Khan has been forced out of the Seve Trophy by Golf+ with a back injury and will take no further part in the contest, with Thomas Björn stepping aside for the Continental Europe team.
Khan played no part in yesterday's two foursomes sessions after injuring his back and despite intensive physio treatment found he could not play when he tried to warm up on the range.
His withdrawal meant that one of the Continental European team was also required to pull out and it was Dane Björn who volunteered to put his name in the envelope, and the second most capped player in Seve Trophy history will now watch the singles from the sidelines.
Both players are allocated a half point each so the overall match score immediately changes to 9 ½ - 9 ½.
Chris Wood, who was down to play Björn now moves down the order to play Francesco Molinari in the bottom match at 13.04.
GB&I captain Sam Torrance said: "Simon can’t play with an injury, he can’t commit to the shot and he is broken-hearted he has had to pull out. It is very tough to take. It is really tough for him as he really wanted to play but if you are injured there is nothing you can do.
A visibly upset Khan said: “I didn’t know I was going to react that way to be honest. You work your whole carer to come and play in team events. I knew what to expect when I came into this week – how good it would be – and I am desperate to play Ryder Cup one day. The week means a lot to everyone here and it means a hell of a lot to me. So not to play in the last day is really hard to take. The main thing now is the team win and I’m going to support them.
“My back wasn’t 100 per cent the first two days but it was fine, and I played well the first day. Yesterday I felt something go when I hit balls and obviously I had a lot of treatment. I did everything I could last night and had more treatment. But I went to practice and thought it might be ok but I could barely hit a wedge or a nine iron, let alone something longer. So I had no chance.
“I will help anyway I can. I’ve had a great week. I’ve loved it. Sam has been excellent and we have had good fun. I have the taste for it now so hopefully there will be some more.”
In a classy gesture, the Björn put himself forward as the nominated player to miss out from the opposing team, his rationale being that some of the youngsters would benefit more from the experience of competing in a singles session.
He said: “I feel like I would have found it very difficult if it had been one of the youngsters coming out of that envelope as it would have broken their hearts. I have played enough team golf to know how this sort of thing (the envelope) works.
“I can deal with this and it is better that I have to, rahter than some of the youngsters. These are the facts of it and we will go from there.”
Continental Europe captain José María Olazábal expressed his sympathy for Khan and paid tribute to Björn’s act.
“I feel sorry for Simon and hopefully he will recover quickly. But it was a classy thing from Thomas to go in the envelope.
“He did it for the team and especially for all the young kids who are in that team. He said he had no issues with that and that he could deal with it no problem and we should give the kids the chance to get some experience in match play and events like this. So hats off to him.”
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