10:44am Tuesday 6th December 2011
Hampshire golf star Justin Rose has pulled out of this week's Dubai World Championship to be with his wife Kate in Florida as they await their second child.
"Flying home to Orlando for an amazing off season," said Rose on his Twitter side. "Our 2nd baby is on its way very soon. Sorry I couldn't play in Dubai. Family first."
The former European number one last week missed the halfway cut in the Hong Kong Open, an event he entered to guarantee he played the required 13 events on the circuit this season.
Failing to do that would have left him open to the possibility of becoming ineligible for next year's Ryder Cup.
He is currently lying seventh in the points race after winning one of the FedEx Cup play-off events in America in September, but could well fall down the standings by missing this week's big-money event.
Only the top 60 on the European money list qualify, but only 58 are playing because, in addition to Rose, US-based Fredrik Jacobson is not in the field.
They will not be replaced by 61st-placed Stephen Gallacher, who lost out to Swede Christian Nilsson by less than £4,000 despite earning over £427,000, or 62nd-placed Steve Webster.
The main spotlight, of course, is on the battle between the world's top two Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy for the European number one crown.
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