Stuart Appleby withdraws from Australian Masters

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Defending champion Stuart Appleby has withdrawn from the Australian Masters because of a lingering back injury.

Appleby shot a 1-under 70 in the opening round Thursday at Victoria Golf Club, but decided before teeing off for the second round Friday that his injury was too painful to continue.

The Australian said earlier in the week that with rest and continued treatment he would be fit to resume play when PGA Tour gets under way next year.