Simpson pulls out of the Open with child on way

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For the second time in five years, the Open Championship will not have the reigning US Open champion playing in it.

American Webb Simpson withdrew from the Royal Lytham field as expected yesterday because his wife is due to give birth in two weeks’ time. In 2008 Tiger Woods was unable to play at Birkdale after he underwent reconstructive knee surgery immediately after his 14th major victory at Torrey Pines.

Simpson indicated straight after his win in San Francisco last month that he did not see himself flying over the Atlantic. He joins Australian Jason Day and 1998 winner Mark O’Meara in pulling out of next week’s event. Two weeks ago Simpson said: “I’m a guy who loves my family and we’re probably only going to have a couple more babies, so I have the rest of my life to play in the British Open.

“I don’t want to miss the birth of the second child, so it’s an easy decision.

“The first experience watching my first son being born was one of the greatest experiences I think a person can have – and I don’t want to miss it again.”