Simpson confirms Open absence
US Open champion opts to stay home with pregnant wife
Last Updated: 13/07/12 4:16pm
Webb Simpson: missing The Open as his wife is due to give birth in two weeks' time
US Open champion Webb Simpson has withdrawn from the Open Championship at Lytham to stay in America with his heavily pregnant wife.
It will be the the second time in five years the Open will not have the reigning US Open champion playing in it.
In 2008 Tiger Woods was unable to play at Birkdale after he underwent reconstructive knee surgery immediately after his 14th major victory at Torrey Pines.
"I don't want to miss the birth of the second child, so it's an easy decision."
Webb Simpson Quotes of the week
Simpson indicated straight after his win in San Francisco in June that he did not see himself flying over the Atlantic.
Day, O'Meara also out
He joins Australian Jason Day and 1998 winner Mark O'Meara in pulling out of next week's event. Day's wife has just given birth, while O'Meara has not played since March because of a rib injury.
"I'm a guy who loves my family and we're probably only going to have a couple more babies, so I have the rest of my life to play in the British Open," said Simpson two weeks ago.
"I don't want to miss the birth of the second child, so it's an easy decision.
"After winning it's certainly a little harder not to go because I'd love to go and try to win another major, but in the grand scheme of things and grand scheme of life it's a decision that I know I'll always be happy that I made.
"The first experience watching my first son being born was one of the greatest experiences I think a person can have - and I don't want to miss it again."
His fellow American Ben Crane, 54th in the world, is first reserve but still does not have a place in the event despite this week's three withdrawals.
That is because there could be more than the standard 156 players either exempt or qualified by the conclusion of the Scottish Open and John Deere Classic this weekend.
There are currently 155 in the field, but the leading non-exempt player at Castle Stuart and in Illinois - providing they finish in the first five on Sunday - also earn spots.