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Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Open: Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama withdraws because of Covid-19

Hideki Matsuyama has withdrawn from the 149th Open at Royal St George’s after returning a positive Covid-19 test.

The Masters champion has been self-isolating since he tested positive ahead of the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 2.

Matsuyama is not suffering from any symptoms but continues to deliver positive results.

“I’m feeling fine but haven’t been able to practice in preparation for the Open,” said the 29-year-old in a statement.

“Combining that with the difficult travel to the UK, my team and I have decided it’s best to withdraw to ensure everyone’s safety.

“I feel badly missing The Open and look forward to playing again at St Andrews next year.

“I’d like to thank the many golf fans for their continued concern and support as I strive to return to the game I love as soon as possible.”

The Open gets underway at Royal St George’s in Kent on Thursday.

Up to 32,000 fans a day will be allowed to attend this year’s tournament.

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