Hoey out of Hong Kong with infected ear

Published Wednesday, 14 November 2012
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Michael Hoey has pulled out of the Hong Kong Open because of an ear infection.

Hoey out of Hong Kong with infected ear
Michael Hoey is out of action. (© Getty)

The Belfast man played at the Singapore Open last week but was unable to shake-off the injury for the first round on Thursday.

Rory McIlroy is competing and will hope he can match the form that saw him win the event last year.

"Hong Kong has always been a place I've enjoyed coming to," said the 23-year-old.

"This week will be extra special after wrapping up the 'Race to Dubai' and I can't wait to tee up as the defending champion. There will definitely be an added spring in my step.

"I love tree-lined courses and Hong Kong is definitely one of my favourites anywhere in the world.

"When you've played well and won on a course you're always looking forward to going back."

Having already topped the European Money list, the event will help determine who finishes runner-up to the Holywood man in the Race to Dubai.

With Ian Poulter defending his Australian Masters title and countryman Graeme McDowell there too, the stiffest competition to McIlroy should come from American Ryder Cup player Matt Kuchar, Scot Paul Lawrie and last week's winner Matteo Manassero.

Manassero partners McIlroy in the opening two rounds, but the 19-year-old Italian said: "When I think of Rory I think of an impossible game to kind of imitate.

"It's only his - he's so good. He plays probably the best game in the world.

"He has really put everything together. Everybody expects him to play perfect every week - when he wants he's always up there."

© UTV News
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