Open Championship hit by high-profile absentees

This week’s Open Championship has suffered a rising variety of late withdrawals as a result of influence of Covid-19, with reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson each confirming that they won’t be teeing it up at Royal St George’s on Thursday.

Bubba Watson is amongst numerous excessive profile gamers who is not going to be enjoying on the 149th Open Championship as a consequence of Covid-related points

Matsuyama examined optimistic for Covid-19 within the US on July 2, however he has confirmed no signs and retained hope of travelling to England. The return of additional optimistic PCR exams, nevertheless, and an lack of ability to interrupt free from isolation means Matsuyama will miss the fourth and remaining main of the 12 months, a event already affected by participant withdrawals.

“I’m feeling superb, however haven’t been capable of practise in preparation for the Open,” Matsuyama stated. “Combining that with the tough journey to the UK, my group and I’ve determined it’s finest to withdraw to make sure everybody’s security. I really feel badly lacking the Open and look ahead to enjoying once more at St Andrews subsequent 12 months. I’d wish to thank the various golf followers for his or her continued concern and assist as I attempt to return to the sport I like as quickly as attainable.”

Matsuyama, who nonetheless hopes to compete within the Tokyo Olympics, grew to become the primary male golfer from Japan to win a significant when he gained at Augusta in April. His world profile means his absence from the Open can be keenly felt by the event organisers. The American Harold Varner III will take the 29-year-old’s place within the draw.

Watson stated that he had had “direct publicity” to somebody who has examined optimistic for Covid-19, which dominated out a visit the UK for the season’s remaining main. “Whereas I’m vaccinated and have handed the required pre-travel Covid check, not sufficient time has handed for me to comfortably be part of the constitution flight [from the US] and danger publicity to the opposite gamers and personnel on board,” he stated. Brendan Steele, from California, has stepped from the reserve record to take Watson’s spot.

England’s Adam Lengthy and Sam Horsfield and South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli have all earned a late name up for the championship after different withdrawals as a consequence of Covid. Lengthy replaces America’s Ryan Moore who’s recovering from a again harm and isn’t taking on the exemption earned on the John Deere Basic. Horsfield replaces 2015 Open Champion Zach Johnson and Frittelli replaces Louis de Jager, after each gamers examined optimistic for the virus.

Even earlier than Matsuyama’s and Watson’s withdrawals, Matthew Wolff, Ok H Lee, Danny Lee, Kevin Na, Kim Si-woo and Im Sung-jae had all introduced they’d not journey to the 149th Open Championship. Given the size of worldwide journey for a lot of individuals, there stays the prospect of additional disruption earlier than the event begins on Thursday.

As much as 32,000 spectators per day will be capable to attend this week’s Open Championship. Gamers and caddies can be required to stick to strict bubble situations, which prohibit them from visiting bars and eating places whereas in Kent.

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