World No 2 Jason Day has withdrawn from the WGC-Mexico Championship, which starts on Thursday, due to illness.
In a statement released by the PGA Tour, Day said: “I’m truly disappointed to announce that I won’t be able to play in next week’s World Golf Championship-Mexico Championship.
“I have a double ear infection and the flu, which precludes me from preparing for and playing in the tournament.
“I have heard great things about the Mexico Championship and the golf course. I want to thank the Salinas family for their support of the event [which is sponsored by Grupo Salinas]. I look forward to teeing it up there next year.”
Day, who has been plagued by various injury problems throughout his career, was replaced as world No 1 by Dustin Johnson last week after the US Open champion won the Genesis Open.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Darren Fichardt, pictured, held his nerve to win a fifth European Tour title and continue home dominance of the Joburg Open, which had been reduced to 54 holes due to bad weather.
Fichardt carded a closing 68 at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club to finish 15 under par, a shot ahead of England’s Paul Waring and Welshman Stuart Manley.
Manley had birdied the final two holes to complete a third consecutive 67 and set a clubhouse target which looked like setting up a play-off after Fichardt dropped his first shot of the day on the 17th.
However, the 41-year-old from Pretoria then produced a superb pitch from just short of the 18th green to set up a certain birdie and when Waring’s birdie attempt agonisingly lipped out, Fichardt tapped in to become the eighth home winner in 11 editions of the event.
“Geez man, it’s good to win again,” said Fichardt, whose last European Tour title came in the Africa Open in 2013. “I’ve been boasting about my putting in interviews and today it just let me down. I couldn’t make a putt but I was glad to see the ball was pretty close on the last.
“The form I have been having the last couple of months has been horrendous but I decided at the beginning of the year that I was going to play as many tournaments as I can and just get my game right and it worked out.”
The top three had the added bonus of sealing a place in the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale via the Open Qualifying Series, with James Morrison, Brandon Stone and Jacques Kruyswijk finishing in a tie for fourth.
Elsewhere, Amy Yang rarely wavered with a big lead during the final round of the Thailand LPGA tournament, shooting a four-under 68 to win by five strokes yesterday.
Due to rain delays, Yang was forced to play her final five holes of the third round yesterday morning, and she led by five strokes after 54 holes.
Later in the day, the 2015 champion saw her lead reduced to three shots on several occasions, but the Korean held on to post a record 22-under on the Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course.
So Yeon Ryu, the 2011 US Women’s Open champion, matched Yang with a 68 to finish second. Lexi Thompson had the best round of the day, a 67, to finish tied for fourth, nine strokes behind.