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On a surreal day that saw the world’s best male player handcuffed and arrested at a major championship, another bizarre story has emerged in the women’s game.

A viral infection appears to have decimated the LPGA Tour’s Mizuho Americas Open, wiping out a number of big name players in New Jersey.

Defending champion Rose Zhang withdrew with illness just three holes into the Liberty National event on Thursday and there have now been a total of ten withdrawals since play began.

Many of those have pulled out with various illnesses, including Paula Creamer, Maja Stark, Caroline Masson, Minami Katsu and Jiwon Jeon.

Meanwhile, former world No.1 Ruoning Yin, Lindsey-Weaver-Wright and A Lim Kim all cited injuries.

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“A total of 10 players have withdrawn from the field at the Mizuho Americas Open since play began on Thursday,” an LPGA spokesperson told on Friday.

“Three of those withdrawals have been due to injury, and the others due to various illnesses. Medical professionals on site have treated several athletes for symptoms related to a viral infection.

“The LPGA and tournament organisers continue to monitor the situation closely, and are working together to advise and assist the LPGA athletes with precautions to try to keep everyone healthy.”

In a statement on Instagram posted on Thursday, Zhang cited “intestinal pain” for her withdrawal.

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“I am really disappointed that I had to withdraw from the Mizuho Americas Open today,” the American star wrote.

“This tournament holds a special place in my heart, having had such an amazing week last year when I captured my first LPGA Tour win here at Liberty National. I was really looking forward to trying to defend my title, but unfortunately spent the last 12 hours with really bad intestinal pain.”

“I am so grateful to my team and everyone involved in this event including Michelle Wie West. She has truly helped put on a world-class event and I wish everyone, including all of the amazing AJGA competitors, the best of luck this week.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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