Richard Sterne pulls out of Africa Open to prepare for WGC Match Play

Last Updated: 14/02/13 6:46am

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Richard Sterne: Opted against trying for African double

Richard Sterne: Opted against trying for African double

Sky Bet

Richard Sterne has withdrawn from this week's Africa Open after qualifying for the first World Golf Championship event of the year.

The South African's dominant seven-shot victory at the Joburg Open propelled him to 56th in the latest world rankings, earning him a place in the 64-man field for next week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

The 31-year-old, whose win in Johannesburg was his first since 2009, is now taking a week off to prepare for his first visit to Dove Mountain in Arizona for four seasons.

Sterne was languishing at 165th in the world rankings only two weeks ago, but he posted top-10 finishes at the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic prior to his victory on Sunday.

He becomes the seventh South African to qualify for the Match Play after Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els, Branden Grace, George Coetzee and Tim Clark.

Oosthuizen is also missing this week's European Tour event in East London despite lifting the title for the past two seasons.

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