Wolff among three to withdraw from The Open

  • Senior golf writer for ESPN.com
  • Covered golf for more than 20 years
  • Earned Evans Scholarship to attend Indiana University

Matthew Wolff, who is ranked No. 35 in the field and was 15th at the end of 2020 after strong finishes in the major championships, is among three golfers who have decided not to play in The Open at Royal St. George’s next week.

Wolff, who gave no reason for withdrawing from The Open, openly discussed his mental health and took a two-month break from the game prior to the U.S. Open. The R&A announced that Wolff is being replaced in the field by England’s Andy Sullivan.

Danny Lee, who pulled out of the John Deere Classic on Friday, withdrew from The Open because of injury. K.H. Lee withdrew because of the birth of his child. They will be replaced by Antoine Rozner of France and Troy Merritt of the U.S.

Wolff, 22, was runner-up to Bryson DeChambeau at the U.S. Open last year. He has never played in The Open.

He suffered through injuries this year and then disappeared from tournament golf following the team event in New Orleans. He was disqualified at the Masters for signing an incorrect scorecard.

Wolff did not return until the U.S. Open, where he contended before settling for a tie for 15th. He then tied for 58th at the Travelers Championship and missed the cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The three join several exempt players who are skipping The Open, including Kevin Na, who said last week he would not participate due to the complications associated with travel and the coronavirus pandemic.

“The love for the game really went away from me,” Wolff said following the second round of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, where he was just a shot out of the lead at the time. “I was going out and trying my best, I was grinding and stuff wasn’t going my way.

“I was getting really down on myself and honestly, for a few months, I kind of felt hopeless. Probably just a few days ago was the first time I really found some hope in my game and my happiness out here. It’s easy to be happy when you’re playing well, but it’s hard to put things in perspective and not be so hard on yourself when you’re out here trying to perform at the highest level. I’m glad that I’m enjoying myself out here again, but it’s not easy.”

Wolff was a four-time All-American at Oklahoma State and won the 2019 NCAA individual title. He then won the 3M Open in his rookie PGA Tour season, joining Ben Crenshaw and Tiger Woods as the only players to win the NCAA event and a PGA Tour event in the same calendar year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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