More Players Withdraw From The Open
THE withdrawals from this week's Open Championship continue to mount up.
Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama had already pulled out after testing positive for Covid-19 and he has been joined by former champion Zach Johnson, South Africa's Louis de Jager and two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson, who have also all withdrawn for Covid reasons.
Johnson and De Jager returned positive tests, while Watson withdrew due to a close contact testing positive for Covid.
In a post on Twitter, Watson said he was disappointed to miss the Open adding "best of luck to all the players".
Matsuyama said he has continued to deliver positive results, despite being symptom free.
"Combining that with the difficult travel to the UK, my team and I have decided it's best to withdraw to ensure everyone's safety," he said.
"I feel bad missing the Open and look forward to playing again at St Andrews next year. I'd like to thank the many golf fans for their continued concern and support as I strive to return to the game I love as soon as possible."
American Ryan Moore has pulled out of the event with a back injury, meaning there have been 16 withdrawals in all for the 149th Open, taking place at Royal St George's.
Other players to have withdrawn include Matthew Wolff, KH Lee and Danny Lee, who were replaced by England's Andy Sullivan, France's Antoine Rozner and American Troy Merritt.
Americans Harold Varner III, Brendan Steele and Adam Long, as well as England's Sam Horsfield and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli all now have a place in the field because of the withdrawals.
The R&A said The Open would "operate under strict government oversight", and that players would be restricted from attending bars, restaurants and supermarkets.
Players are required to stay in approved hotels or private accommodation which can be shared by four members of their team, excluding other players.
The Open was cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Up to 32,000 fans a day will be allowed to attend this year's tournament as part of the government's Events Research Programme.
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