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Clarke withdraws from U.S. Open with groin injury

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Darren Clarke has pulled out of next month's U.S. Open at The Olympic Club, citing a groin injury.

“I am extremely disappointed as Open champion that I am unable to play the U.S. Open,” Clarke said in a posting on his website. “But I have to make sure I am 100 percent ready for Royal Lytham, and to do that, I have been advised not to play for a month.”

Clarke will also miss the Nordea Masters on the European Tour. He will return when the Irish Open is staged at Royal Portrush beginning on June 28.

The British Open champion first experienced the problem at the Shell Houston Open, the week before the Masters. He tweaked it again last week at Wentworth, where he missed the cut.

Clarke's best finish this season came in January, when he finished T-20 at the Volvo Golf Champions.