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Darren Clarke will skip the U.S. Open at Oakmont

The Northern Irishman states lack of form and focus on the Ryder Cup captaincy

Darren Clarke has withdrawn from the US Open Championship because of his lack of form and his duties as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain.

The Ulsterman, now 670th in the world, has had just one top 10 finish since he won the Open in 2011. 

Clarke was fully exempt thanks to that Open win but his five-year exemption runs out this year, meaning he could have played his last U.S. Open. He will be replaced in the field by South Africa’s Thomas Aiken, the first alternate from the Memphis sectional qualifying site. Aiken tied for 25th last year at Chambers Bay in his first U.S. Open.

“I’m currently dedicating all of my time to our preparations for the Ryder Cup and unfortunately the U.S. Open is not the place to be when your game isn’t 100 percent,” said Clarke, who has competed in 15 U.S. Opens, with a best finish of T10 in 1999.

“I’m very sorry to miss Oakmont but I’m sure it will be a brilliant week for everyone. I’ll certainly be watching very closely.”

Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee also withdrew for “personal reasons” and will be replaced in the field by Jeev Milkha Singh, of India, the first alternate from the England sectional qualifying site.

Ireland will have three players in Pittsburgh next week with previous winners Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy joined by Shane Lowry.


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