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Ballesteros Pulls Out of British Open Again

SANDWICH, England (AP) -- Three-time British Open champion Seve Ballesteros pulled out of next week's tournament at Royal St. George's -- the second straight year he will miss the major.
Ballesteros gave no reason for withdrawing, European tour officials said Wednesday. The Spaniard, whose game is in steady decline, has listed only one event on his schedule, the Lancome Trophy in Paris on Sept. 11-14.
Ballesteros has not played in any European Tour events since the Benson & Hedges International Open in May. He was disqualified from the Italian Open a week earlier for deliberately changing his scorecard.
Ballesteros has been involved in a long-running dispute with tour officials about the way they run the sport.
He pulled out of the Volvo PGA championship in May, citing the flu. A day earlier, he was fined an unspecified amount and reprimanded for his behavior at the Italian Open.
Ballesteros, who last won a tournament in 1995, was once one of golf's most popular players. He won the British Open in 1979, 1984 and 1988 and the Masters in 1980 and 1983.
Ballesteros played in every British Open championship from his debut in 1975 until 2001. Last year he withdrew without giving a reason.
He has played only five events this year, making the cut in Madeira and in Italy. He missed cuts at the Masters, Spanish Open and Benson & Hedges.
Ballesteros has not made the cut in the Masters or British Open since 1996 and no longer qualifies for the U.S. Open or PGA Championship.
Six times the winner of the European Order of Merit, he has finished 190th, 204th and 247th the last three seasons. He is 264th on this year's money list.
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