Patrick Harrington, a former policeman, died Monday night. He first learned he had cancer the week after his son won the Honda Classic for his first PGA Tour victory.
Harrington has not missed the British Open since 1996. He was replaced in the field by Henrik Stenson.
Harrington rose to No. 6 in the world at the end of last year and was regarded as Europe's best player, especially after his first official victory in the United States in March. But the celebration lasted only until he got home and learned his father had inoperable cancer.
Harrington missed the cut in the Masters and U.S. Open, but he won three weeks ago in the Barclays Classic by holing a 65-foot eagle putt on the last hole at Westchester. That returned him to the top 10 heading into the British Open.