'Having consulted my doctor this afternoon I have been advised to withdraw from the U.S. PGA Championship,' said Lawrie, who defeated Jean van de Velde and Justin Leonard for his only major title at Carnoustie. 'I have a neck problem that is causing headaches and I have been feeling very tired over the past few weeks. While tests do not suggest that anything serious is wrong, I've been advised to rest for at least another week.'
Lawrie has played in four PGA Championships, starting with the year he broke through in a major championship. His best finish was a tie for 34th in 1999 and he has missed the cut the last two years.
Lawrie joins a growing list of high-profile players to withdraw from next week's fourth major of 2003 at Oak Hill. Nick Faldo ended the longest active streak of consecutive starts in major tournaments at 65 when he pulled out to be with his new child, Ian Woosnam withdrew after the death of his father and Nick Price bowed out to spend more time with his family.
The list may grow by one as Padraig Harrington, currently ranked ninth in the world, is indicating he might withdraw. His wife is pregnant with the couple's first child and Harrington stated if she goes into labor before or during the tournament, he will withdraw.
'The baby, my wife and the doctor will all determine my schedule,' said Harrington.
The PGA Championship is scheduled to tee off Aug. 14th from Oak Hill Country Club. Rich Beem is the defending champion and Tiger Woods, a two- time former winner, will look for his first major title of the year.