Jose Maria Olazabal's Open hope rests on Castle Stuart

RYDER CUP captain Jose Maria Olazabal has withdrawn from the Open Championship final qualifying competition at Littlestone in Kent today.

The 45-year-old, who has battled with arthritic pains for over 15 years, has also pulled out of the French Open starting on Thursday, but is still in the field for next week's Scottish Open.

His only way to play at Sandwich now would be to finish in the top five at Castle Stuart near Inverness.

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Former US Open champion Michael Campbell is among 288 players competing over 36 holes for just 12 Open places over four courses today. He plays at Prince's alongside South African Hennie Otto, who was the first-day leader at Royal St George's in 2003 and went on to finish tenth, and 1993 Ryder Cup player Joakim Haeggman. Fellow Swede Jarmo Sandelin, part of the 1999 European side, is at Rye, while 1991 cup player Paul Broadhurst is at Royal Cinque Ports.

Meanwhile, Europe has yet another winner in America - a week after Rory McIlroy's victory at the US Open, Fredrik Jacobson became the seventh Swede to lift a PGA Tour title at the weekend.

Eight years and 188 events after making the decision to base himself in the States, the 36-year-old captured the Travelers Championship by a stroke late on Sunday when he parred the final hole and Ryan Moore bogeyed it.

Now Jacobson can fulfil a promise to his five-year-old daughter Emmie that he would finally bring home a trophy this year - and he could well be heading to Sandwich for the Open in a fortnight's time. He leads a mini money list on the American circuit with a week to go - two places are on offer. So, a month after missing out by a shot in a qualifier, there might still be a return to the course on which he came sixth in 2003.

Jacobson remembers sitting with his three children before this season started and watching a highlights show of last year's Tour. "Everybody was just hoisting trophies left and right and my middle one Emmie goes 'Daddy, why don't you have any trophies at home?' Well I got a couple in Sweden, but they're in the garage. But I told her 'I promise you I'll get one this year for you'.

"It's been haunting me. I've been asked so many times by the kids 'Did you get a trophy this week, daddy? Did you get a trophy?' I'm glad I'm not breaking that promise for her."

But for a dropped shot on the tenth hole of his final round, Jacobson could also have told them about the week he became the first player to go bogey-free on the circuit since Lee Trevino in 1974.