Neck injury threatens Oosthuizen's Open status

Louis Oosthuizen (file photo)

Louis Oosthuizen (file photo)

GULLANE, Scotland – Louis Oosthuizen has been sleeping a mere 30 yards from the first tee at Muirfield, but that might be as close as he gets to the 142nd Open Championship. Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, is unsure whether he will be able to tee it up in Thursday's first round.

Oosthuizen, 30, didn’t practice Wednesday and instead spent the day receiving treatment for a continuing neck injury that forced him to withdraw from the HP Byron Nelson Championship in May.

On Wednesday night, he was awaiting a specialist to provide further treatment at the home that his representatives at International Sports Management is renting in Gullane. Oosthuizen is scheduled to tee off at 2:45 p.m. Thursday with Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell.

Oosthuizen plans to hit balls at about 9:30 Thursday morning to test the neck. If he were to withdraw, first alternate Joost Luiten of the Netherlands would get Oosthuizen's spot.

Since winning the Volvo Golf Champions in January in his native South Africa, Oosthuizen has posted mixed results. He has recorded only one top-10 on the PGA Tour this year, a tie for 10th at the Shell Houston Open. In recent months, he withdrew from the U.S. Open with a hip injury, tied for 17th at the Greenbrier Classic and missed the cut at last week's John Deere Classic. Oosthuizen is No. 11 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

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