Kevin Na has decided to withdraw from next week’s Open Championship as a result of international travel requirements.
The five-time PGA Tour winner, who has played in eight previous editions of the game’s oldest major, has been replaced in the field for Royal St George’s by two-time major champion Martin Kaymer.
World No.67 Cameron Davis had been first reserve but is unable to travel and so former world No.1 Kaymer has taken the spot vacated by 37-year-old Na.
“It was a tough decision but for my family and me it is best to skip The Open this year,” said Na. “I will be back next year. It is one of my favourite weeks and I would love to hold the Claret Jug one day.”
Na’s decision comes in the wake of reports that some US-based players might choose to forego their places in the field as a result of strict COVID-19 protocols that remain in place in the UK.
Last weekend, Rickie Fowler openly questioned those restrictions, saying there are “definitely some concerns” about making the trip across the Atlantic amongst PGA Tour pros.
“It seems like us as players are having to jump through some hurdles and dodging bullets and they're having 32,000 fans a day at the tournament, so I don't know,” said Fowler.
With Na’s withdrawal and Kaymer’s promotion to the field ahead of Davis, the next three players on the reserve list for The Open are Andy Sullivan, Antoine Rozner and Troy Merritt.