London - Darren
Clarke, the 2011 Open Championship winner from Northern Ireland, and
Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee, with 18 triumphs worldwide, each withdrew on
Thursday from next week's US Open at Oakmont.
Clarke pulled out citing his duties as captain of the European Ryder Cup team that will defend the trophy later this year against the US at Hazeltine.
"I'm currently dedicating all of my time to our preparations for the Ryder Cup and unfortunately the US Open is not the place to be when your game isn't 100 percent," Clarke said.
"I'm very sorry to miss Oakmont but I'm sure it will be a brilliant week for everyone. I'll certainly be watching very closely."
Clarke's best US Open showing in 15 appearances was a share of 10th in 1999.
Replacing Clarke in the field will be South African Thomas Aiken,
first alternate from sectional qualifying in Memphis, Tennessee.
32, shared 25th last year at Chambers Bay in his US Open debut.Jaidee, who cited personal reasons for his absence, was replaced
in the field by India's Jeev Milkha Singh, the first alternate from
sectional qualifying in England.Singh, 44, will make his fifth US Open start, with his best showing a share of 36th at Oakmont in 2007.