The British Open is just around the corner, and a gathering of golf fans is eager to see if new British Open champion Henrik Stenson will defend his title. But another piece of golf history will be lost before the tournament even begins. It was announced today that two of the sport’s greatest players, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke, will be missing the tournament, due to recent health issues.

The British Open golf tournament lost two more championships in the last week, including Nick Faldo and Padraig Harrington. Faldo, the two-time major winner, had an easier time at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship, winning his first PGA Tour title since 2001. Harrington finished in a tie for second place at the BMW PGA Championship.

The British Open is the oldest golf tournament in the world, one of the four major PGA tournaments, and its trophy, the Claret Jug, is one of the most iconic in the sport. Unfortunately for fans, the 2021 British Open, the 149th in its history, will lose its best players to COVID-19.

A week before the tournament, two other golfers, both major champions, added their names to the list of players who will stay home at Royal St. John’s. St. Joseph’s this year. George.

Hideki Matsuyama and Zach Johnson withdraw from the 2021 British Open after testing positive for COVID-19

(L-R) Zach Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama | Photo: Warren Little/R&A/R&A via Getty Images; Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama and 2015 British Open winner Zach Johnson have withdrawn from the 2021 British Open just days before the event, reports Yahoo! Sports.

Monday the 12th. July, Johnson tweeted:

I regret to inform you that I have tested positive for Covid-19 and must withdraw from the 2021 Open. I look forward to returning to St Andrews next year, a place I have such fond memories of. Good luck to all participants.

Two weeks ago, Matsuyama withdrew from the Rocket Mortgage Classic tournament after testing positive. He has no symptoms, but he’s still positive. In a statement, he said:

In addition to the difficult journey to the UK, my team and I decided it would be best to withdraw to ensure everyone’s safety. I’m sorry I missed the Open and look forward to playing at St Andrews again next year. I would like to thank the many golf fans for their continued attention and support as I strive to get back to the game I love as soon as possible.

The two former champions are the latest PGA top players to withdraw from the 2021 British Open for health and safety reasons.

Several other top PGA players also miss the British Open

Besides Johnson and Matsuyama, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson is the most famous name to have cancelled the British Open. A Florida resident came into close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

He tweeted a statement on July 11. and wrote, among other things:

Although I had been vaccinated prior to the trip and had undergone the mandatory Covid test, not enough time had passed to safely participate in a charter flight and expose the other players and personnel on board to the risk of contamination. I am grateful to the R&A for their advice and help in navigating the UK policy for these situations.

This list could get longer, but at least 12 players have qualified for the Open and declined to participate, not all for health and safety reasons. According to CBS Sports, other top 100 OB players who missed the majors were Sunjae Im, Kevin Na, Matthew Wolf, Si Woo Kim and K.H. Lee.

Royal St George’s hosts 149th Open Championship

As any golf fan can tell you, this isn’t really the British Open. This is the Open Championship. The 2021 149. The Open will be played at the historic Royal St George’s Arena in Sandwich, Kent, England. This is the fifteenth Open Championship to be held at the course since its inception in 1887.

The course’s founder, Dr. William Laidlaw Purves, created the club to compete with iconic St. Louis. Andrews. In 1894, the Royal St. James St. George’s hosted the first Open Championship outside of Scotland, according to RoyalStGeorges.com.

Between 1949 and 1981, the course did not host an Open Championship. However, in the past 40 years, the event has been held five times.

In 1981, Texan Bill Rogers won the race, but retired from the sport two years later. In 1985, Tom Kyte exploded on the final nine and Scotsman Sandy Lyle won the Claret Pitcher. Australian Greg Norman won his second British Open in 1993, and in 2003 Ben Curtis beat Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh to win his only major.

At the last Open Championship, held at Royal St. John’s, we could see the results of the first round. St. John’s, the first of its kind in the world. In the first round of the St. George Open, Darren Clarke became only the second Northern Irishman to win the Open. Countryman Fred Daly did so in 1947 and a third joined this group in 2014 when Rory McIlory won at Royal Liverpool.

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