Darren Clarke will sit out the US Open at Oakmont next week
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 10/06/16 10:13am
Europe's Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke has decided to withdraw from next week's US Open at Oakmont.
The 47-year-old won The Open at Royal St George's in 2011, earning himself a five-year exemption into the US Open field.
However, he has missed the cut in his last three appearances at the tournament and has been struggling for form this season, missing the cut in six of eight tournaments, with a best finish of joint-43rd in the Irish Open.
Clarke, who has dropped to 670th in the world rankings, said: "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 per cent.
"I'm very sorry to miss Oakmont but I'm sure it will be a brilliant week. I'll certainly be watching very closely."
The US Open gets underway next Thursday and the Ryder Cup takes place at Hazeltine between 30 September and 2 October.
Clarke's Europe team are the Ryder Cup holders and will be looking for their ninth win over the USA team in the last 11 editions of the event.
Replacing Clarke in the field will be Thomas Aiken of South Africa, first alternate from sectional qualifying in Memphis, Tennessee.
The 32-year-old made his US Open debut last year at Chambers Bay and shared 25th place.
Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee has also withdrawn from the tournament, citing personal reasons, and he will be replaced in the field by India's Jeev Milkha Singh, the first alternate from sectional qualifying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 appearance, with his best showing a share of 36th at Oakmont in 2007.