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Justin Leonard withdraws from Open

Former British Open champion Justin Leonard withdrew from next week's Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club due to the pending birth of his next child.

Leonard claimed the 1997 British Open at Royal Troon and lost in a playoff to Paul Lawrie two years later at Carnoustie. That event is more well known for Jean Van de Velde's collapse on the 18th hole.

Leonard was replaced in this year's field by England's Simon Khan.

Greg Norman, the 1986 and 1993 British Open champion, also announced he will not be playing this week. Norman is recuperating from knee surgery in February and he feels his game is not in good enough shape to play this week.

"My knee is fine," Norman said in a statement. "My game just isn't where I want it to be, and the last thing I want to do is take a spot away from another deserving professional."

July 17, 2006


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