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Tom Weiskopf slates PGA Tour no shows

FormerOpen champion Tom Weiskopf has lambasted his compatriots who last week pulled out of the U.S. leg of 36-hole international qualifying for next week's Open at Royal Troon.

A field of 120 was initially meant to be chasing the 15 spots on offer at Congressional Golf Club in Maryland, but 46 players withdrew over the weekend. A further seven failed to arrive for their Monday teeoffs.

"That was terrible. They have no spirit of adventure," American Weiskopf told reporters on Wednesday at the Loch Lomond course he designed which is hosting this week's Scottish Open.

"They look at it financially, how much is it going to cost me. That's all it boils down to. It's sad.

"It (the British Open) is the greatest championship in the world, it is the world open, more players from more countries are represented, it is the tradition of the game.

"It is links golf, it is what it is all about, different from the other ones," added Weiskopf, who won the 1973 British Open at Royal Troon.

"We can go back in time to a U.S. Open champion, I'm not going to mention his name, who decided to pass up the Open Championship so he could play in some little golf tournament somewhere and make his $100,000 appearance money."

International qualifying tournaments were introduced by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) for the first time this year to make it more convenient and less expensive for overseas-based players to qualify for the third of the year's four majors.

The 36-hole qualifier at Congressional was one of five which took place around the world between January and June.

"They (the R & A) made it easy for those guys and that is a really a slap in the face, really poor judgement," Weiskopf said.

Told the R & A were considering taking action against the players who pulled out at Congressional, he replied: "They should, and why wouldn't they?

"They have saved those people time, money and effort, but I'm sure they are thinking: 'If I do qualify I'll have to buy a couple of first-class air tickets, which is going to cost five or six thousand dollars, and then I'm going to have to spend another five or six thousand dollars on my room.

"But, by the way, we are playing for how many million dollars a week?"

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