Els withdraws from Shell Houston Open

HOUSTON The South African says he's battling a virus like the one that caused him to arrive late at the CA Championship. He failed to break par all four rounds at Doral and finished dead last.

This gives him two weeks off before playing in the Masters. He had planned to play five out of six weeks on the PGA Tour to prepare for Augusta National, but will wind up playing only three times.

He won the Honda Classic at the start of the Florida swing for his first U.S. victory in 3 1/2 years, missed the cut the following week at Innisbrook, then pulled out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, citing fatigue.

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