MARTIN Sell will have to wait a fortnight extra to begin his Challenge Tour campaign after a back problem hampered his preparations.
The Wrag Barn pro was set to begin his first full season on the tour at the Kensville Challenge in India on Thursday, but has now pulled out.
Troubled by a back injury early in the new year, Swindon’s Sell has now recovered but did not feel he had practised enough to be in top form heading into the event in Ahmedabad.
Therefore, the 33-year-old will now put all his efforts into preparing for the Kenya Open, which begins on February 14.
Sell explained: “After Q School in Spain last year I had Christmas off and didn’t really touch a club for three weeks, but I started doing a bit after new year and one morning I got up and felt a shooting pain.
“It was really painful to stand up so I went to see the osteopath. Basically it was just that the lower back muscles were ridiculously tight and were pulling vertebrae out of position.
“It needed a massage to loosen it all off.
“I’ve never been one for massages in the past so that didn’t really help, but this year I will have them more regularly.”
Sell admitted it had been a difficult decision to pass up the opportunity to play in the Kensville Challenge, but said it would ultimately be for the greater good.
“It’s a bit of a shame about India,” he said.
“I would have been flying out at the weekend, but I hadn’t done enough practise to be confident in myself to compete.
“I didn’t feel ready. I could have gone but I think it was probably wise not to.
“It was going to be an expensive week anyway and if you’re not confident of being at the higher end of the leaderboard, there’s no point.”
Snow might have caused problems for a variety of outdoor sports recently, but the Swindonian has still managed to get some practise in.
Sell has been hitting balls at an indoor studio at Donnington Grove Golf Club in Newbury, where his coach Matt Woods is based.
The Challenge Tour is a feeder circuit to the main European Tour on which Broome Manor’s David Howell competes.
The top 20 players on the Challenge Tour earn their tour card with the top 15 gaining places at more events than the lower five.