Kiwi numbers at the 149th Open Championship have now been reduced to just two after news overnight that Danny Lee has withdrawn from The Open due to injury.
Lee was forced to withdraw from the most recent US PGA Tour event at the John Deere Classic on Friday after playing just 28 holes when a back injury forced his retirement.
On social media, Danny Lee explained he received a back injury on his second shot on the 9th hole, which saw him shoot a bogey five and pull out two holes later.
“Back injury after 9th hole second shot today… gonna be out for [a] while I think [I] pulled out from @theopen thank you @johndeereclassic,” Lee said on Instagram.
Lee had been granted a place in The Open Championship 2020 after finishing in a tie for fifth place at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida in March 2020. With the 2020 event being cancelled due to the pandemic, his exemption was held over to the 2021 event.
The 30-year-old who also pulled out of selection for the Tokyo Olympics so he could concentrate on securing his PGA Tour card for next year will be replaced in The Open field by Troy Merritt of the U.S. who lost in a playoff last week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Ryan Fox and Daniel Hillier remain as the only New Zealand entrants in The Open that will be played at Royal St George’s in southeast England from 11-18 July 2021.