Greg Norman has withdrawn from the upcoming British Open at St. Andrews, citing complications from his recent shoulder surgery. Norman, a two-time British Open champion, will be replaced by fellow Australian Jason Day.
“I’m disappointed that I will not be able to participate in this year’s Open Championship, but unfortunately, it is taking me longer than expected to regain my competitive form,” said Norman, 55, who lifted the Claret Jug at Turnberry in 1986 and at Royal St George’s in 1993. He captured the world’s fascination in 2008 at Royal Birkdale, when he made a strong run for a third title. Norman took a two-shot lead into the final round before ultimately finishing in a tie for third.
“I was especially looking forward to playing St Andrews, celebrating The Open’s 150th Anniversary and playing The Open Champions’ Challenge,” Norman said.
Day, ranked No. 72 in the world, became the youngest Australian winner of a PGA Tour event when he claimed the HP Byron Nelson Championship in May, at the age of 22. He becomes the fifth alternate to gain entry to the British Open, which begins Thursday.
Day will be making his first start in a major championship. The excitement quickly was overtaken with anxiety: He didn’t have his passport.
“I left my passport at home, so I had a friend break into the house and get the passport,” Day said from the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill., where he shot 66-71–137 to share 41st place after 36 holes.
When asked why he didn’t carry his passport when he had a good shot at getting into the British Open, Day gave an honest answer.
“I’ve got an American license and I’ve got a green card now, so that’s all I carry around now, which is better than carrying a passport,” said Day, of Fort Worth, Texas. “But I should be more prepared and carry a passport next time.”
Another problem: His new bride, Ellie, hasn’t yet changed his passport.
“She’s trying to change the name over on the passport,” Day said. “So it’s all sorts of mischief going on, which is … it happens.”