(Reuters) – Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke has pulled out of next week’s U.S. Open at Oakmont in Pennsylvania, citing poor form and his ongoing commitments as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain.
The 47-year-old has missed the cut in six of his last seven tournament starts while his world ranking has plunged to 670th.
“I’m currently dedicating all of my time to our preparations for the Ryder Cup and unfortunately the U.S. Open is not the place to be when your game isn’t 100 percent,” Clarke, the 2011 British Open champion, said in a statement.
“I’m very sorry to miss Oakmont but I’m sure it will be a brilliant week. I’ll certainly be watching very closely.”
Clarke has competed in 15 U.S. Opens with a best finish of a tie for 10th in 1999, but has missed the cut in his last three appearances.
The U.S. Open, the second of the year’s four major championships, will be played at Oakmont Country Club from June 16-19.
The Ryder Cup will be held at Hazeltine National in Minnesota from Sept 30-Oct 2 when Clarke will lead holders Europe in their bid to win the trophy for a ninth time in 11 editions against the United States.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Larry Fine)