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Mark Hensby defends missing Troon Open

Australian Mark Hensby has defended his decision to turn down an invitation to the British Open as he prepares for his major debut at the US PGA Championship.

After winning the John Deere Classic the week before the Royal Troon event was due to start, Hensby was offered a place in the starting field but rejected it on the spot.

Certain sections of the media criticised Hensby for his decision, implying that he was spoilt and couldn't be bothered making the flight over to Britain.

However the 33-year-old said it would not have been possible for him to get there in time to adequately prepare for the tournament.

Hensby pointed out that he didn't have his passport with him in Illinois and claimed he couldn't have made it home to Arizona to pick it up until Monday.

"I couldn't get a flight out (to Scotland) until Tuesday," he told AAP, meaning he would not have arrived at Royal Troon until Wednesday morning.

"If I could have left that Sunday night, I would have gone. I actually looked into it but because I didn't have my passport on me, that wasn't possible."

"I got a lot of bad press, and it was sad, because it should have been probably the happiest week of my life, and all I kept answering was criticism."

However Hensby said he did have moments of regret as he watched the British Open unfold on the television.

"It didn't blow very hard and the course was very fair," he said. "Watching on TV, you wish you were there. It was hard to watch because I was playing so well."

Hensby is one of 13 Australians taking part in the US PGA Championship, joining Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Steve Elkington, Brendan Jones, Stephen Leaney, Peter Lonard, Greg Norman, Geoff Ogilvy, Nick O'Hern, Rod Pampling, Craig Parry and Adam Scott.

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