O'Meara withdraws from Open

Mark O'Meara has withdrawn from next week's Open Championship due to a persistent elbow injury.

The 57-year-old, champion at Royal Birkdale in 1998, was forced to call time on this year's renewal due to the pain he has been suffering for a number of months.

In a statement, his agent Peter Malik revealed he has been 'hurting on and off since the Masters in April'.

After undergoing another MRI scan last week, doctors recommended a period of rest prompting O'Meara to turn his attention to this week's US Senior Open in Oklahoma rather than fly to England.

O'Meara admitted he followed the medical advise over concerns the firm turf at Royal Liverpool could have caused further damage to his elbow.

His coveted place in the field will now be taken by Englishman Ross Fisher while David Hearn of Canada steps up to become first alternate.