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Pieters out of the KLM Open due to bee sting

(Photo by Kevin C.Cox / Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C.Cox / Getty Images)

Defending champion Thomas Pieters has withdrawn from the KLM Open after suffering a reaction to a bee sting.

The 24-year-old was favourite for the Netherlands event but will not defend his title after being stung by a bee on Monday during a practice round with Joost Luiten.

The Belgian ace was hoping for a decent showing this week after being confirmed as one of European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke’s three picks for Hazeltine.

Pieters was understandably upset and took to Instagram to explain his absence to the fans.

“The very unfortunate worst case scenario just happened,” he wrote. “One bee sting on Monday during the golf challenge against @joostluitengolfer led to a major allergic reaction with flu symptoms, and forced me to pull out of my favourite tournament of the year #KLMOpen.

“Very sorry to all the fans that are on their way to support me and to the organisation @tgsport. I owe it to you guys to defend my title next year.”

The Geel-born youngster is on a superb run of form, having backed up his fourth-place finish at the Olympics with second spot at the Czech Masters and victory in Denmark.

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