St. Andrews - Britain's
former world No 1 Luke Donald will play in next week's British
Open after South Africa's Jaco van Zyl withdrew on Wednesday in order to
prepare for golf's return to the Olympics at next month's Rio Games.
Van Zyl only qualified for the South African team after Louis
Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace withdrew from Olympic
But he has no doubt that, in the midst of a busy season, he is better
off getting ready for Rio rather than competing in golf's oldest major
championship, which this year takes place at Scotland's Royal Troon
"I was really starting to feel the effects of a very packed schedule at the French Open last week," Van Zyl said in a statement.
"This was definitely wasn't a decision I took lightly, but something
had to give and I decided to forego the majors in July in favour of the
Van Zyl's decision means Donald, as first reserve, is now into the main Open draw.
The Englishman, who has slipped to 83rd in the world rankings, missed
the cut in his first five Open appearances, including the last time the
event was staged at Troon in 2004.
However, he finished 12th at St Andrews last year.