Golf

Donald into Open as Van Zyl opts for Olympics

2016-07-06 21:05
Luke Donald (Gallo Images)

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 selection.

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 course.

"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 Olympics.

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.


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