LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – Robert Karlsson’s withdrawal at Royal Lytham & St. Annes has sparked a wave of uncertainty on the eve of the year’s third major championship.
Because the field was overbooked for this week’s championship with 157 players, Ben Crane, who is the first alternate, did not make the trip over to England and on Wednesday he tweeted, “Disappointed not to be playing (the Open Championship). One of my favorite tournaments and a great test of golf. I’ll eat more haggis next year.”
Karlsson’s early exit, however, has opened the door for Crane. According to his manager, he is at home in Portland, Ore., but “can still fly out (Wednesday),” said Tommy Limbaugh with 4U Management.
According to the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews Crane asked to have his name removed from the alternate list, moving Michael Thompson to first alternate. However, Crane told the Associated Press he had not and was looking into flights to England.