Kuehne Pulls Out of Canadian Open

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MARKHAM, Ontario -- Canadian Tour Order of Merit winner Hank Kuehne has pulled out of this weeks Bell Canadian Open due to the effects of a wrist and hand injury suffered at the season-ending Greater Toronto Open.
 
Kuehne, who won both the Texas Challenge and Quebec Open this past season, will not be in the starting field when opening round action of the BCO gets underway Thursday at Angus Glen. Kuehnes wife Nicole stated that doctors have advised the 1998 U.S. Amateur Champion to take at least two weeks off to allow the injury to heal. Kuehne was having more tests done Tuesday and was unavailable for comment.
 
Last week at the Air Canada Championship in suburban Vancouver, Kuehne opened with a 5-under 66 before struggling to a 77 in Round 2 to miss the cut. He played with the wrist and hand taped for support and was in obvious discomfort both days. During the opening round, Kuehne had a difficult time swinging the club but needed just 22 putts for the round.
 
'Hank is very upset that he had to pull out this week, he was really looking forward to playing in Toronto,' said Nicole Kuehne on Tuesday. 'He has played well all year, but he is going to listen to his doctors and take some time off. He wants to be ready for (PGA Tour) Q-School this fall, and playing right now could jeopardize that. If he takes the time off, there is no reason to think that it wont heal in time.'
 
Doctors originally believed the long-hitting Kuehne may have suffered a hairline fracture in his right hand during the third round of the Greater Toronto Open last month. Kuehne injured the hand just after making the turn but didnt pull out of the event until he hit his tee shot on the 17th hole.
 
This past season was a comeback year for Kuehne, who had overcome career-threatening arm and shoulder surgeries over the past two years. He joined the Canadian Tour at Winter Qualifying School back in February and began the campaign with four consecutive top-five showings, including his triumph in Austin, TX.