Singh ‘rooting’ for Open fill-in Bjorn from U.S.

Thomas Bjorn plays a bunker shot during the first round of the Open Championship

Thomas Bjorn plays a bunker shot during the first round of the Open Championship

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SANDWICH, England – Open Championship leader Thomas Bjorn got into the field as an alternate last weekend when three-time major champion Vijay Singh withdrew because of back problems.

Singh was said to be delighted that his replacement shot to the top of the leaderboard Thursday.

“We’re hoping for one of those fairy-tale things, like John Daly winning the PGA (in 1991 as a last-minute fill-in for Nick Price),” Singh’s agent, Charlie Moore, said by telephone from the U.S. “Vijay likes Bjorn. He’s rooting for him.”

Singh withdrew from the AT&T National before the July 2 third round because of back spasms. He was tied for 13th at the time.

“We think it started with dehydration,” Moore said. “He just needs to rest. His back is structurally fine.”

Singh pulled out of the Open Championship because he figured a long trip to Europe and playing in cold, windy weather wouldn’t be best for his ailing back, Moore said.

The rest, though, might not last long. Singh might return as soon as next week’s RBC Canadian Open, his agent said.

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